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I use concealer on a daily basis, whether it is to cover up under eye circles or to hide imperfections and to me it is one of the most important steps in my make up so I like to know I have a good concealer on which will not only cover what I'd like it to, but also to last throughout the day. In summer time I often just wear concealer alone without any foundation so it is also essential to me that it has good coverage, yet still must be lightweight on the skin otherwise for me this defeats the point of not using a foundation. The latest concealer that I have tried out is this Collection one, which is mainly due to the fact it is very affordable and it also has a big hype surrounding it in the 'beauty world'.
It also claims to be 16 hour wear, which although I never wear my make up for that long, I was intrigued about as I was really looking for a long lasting concealer. Alongside this it claims to be water resistant and transfer proof.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
As previously mentioned, this concealer is very affordable costing just £4.19. The great thing about this brand is that I also find it is often on offer, whether that be 3 for 2 or buy two products and get one free. Of course if you enough points on your Boots or Superdrug cards then you can also purchase it with these.
Like most Collection items, this is available in the likes of Boots and Superdrug and I have now also seen it being stocked in the likes of a few local pharmacists and have also seen it in a few of the larger Asda stores. Failing to find it in store, it is also available on these shops online retailers.
There isn't a very large shade selection for this range and as far as I am aware there are just four different shades available. These being fair, cool medium, warm medium and dark. I tend to find I alternate between the cool medium and warm medium depending on the time of the year and can sometimes get away with the fair shade to highlight under my eyes. I definitely feel there could be more shades available as I feel they are all aimed at fairly pale skin tones and there isn't really anything on offer for darker skin tones, as even the one named 'dark' is not all that dark and sometimes even I can get away with that one if I have been on holiday.
===~~Applying the concealer~~===
This concealer comes in a small tube with a screw top lid which when unscrewed reveals a sponge application, much like that of a lip gloss. I have used this a few times to apply the concealer and find that it does a good job of dispersing the concealer and does pick up a decent amount, however find that it is almost impossible to blend the concealer in with and tends to just spread it. I also don't really like the idea of applying this over a blemish and then putting the applicator back into the product as then you will be contaminating all of the concealer, so if you wish to apply this over spots/blemishes I would highly recommend popping some of it onto the back of your hand and then go from there with the product.
The concealer has a fairly thick consistency to it and I didn't notice this when applying it and found that to begin with it did feel a little heavy on the skin. Once blended out I found that it did feel a little lighter, though definitely felt noticeable on the skin and did not feel like there was nothing there. I also found that it worked much better when I applied a little and then built up the desired coverage as found this way it felt slightly less heavy.
I used this to apply both to cover any dark circles and to cover blemishes on my skin and found that when doing so it blended out very well and due to the creamy consistency was very easy to do so. I have blended out this concealer with both my fingers and a brush on multiple occasions and found that either do a very good job. Personally, I would actually recommend using your fingers to blend it in as I find this warms up the product a little more which makes it extremely easy to blend in and also find that I am sometimes left with brush strokes when applying it that way due to its thick consistency.
I find that a little goes a really long way, which is most likely due to the thick consistency and therefore often find myself needing way less than originally anticipated. Due to this I find that I only need a few dots of it to cover my whole face on days when I don't want to wear foundation and to me this feels a lot lighter on my skin than wearing a few pumps of foundation. Due to this I can also see it lasting me a very long time.
I have to say I am very impressed with this concealer, especially considering it's price. It really does have very high coverage and for me covers everything I would want it to. When used under the eyes I find that it cancels out any dark or purple tones leaving my eyes looking much more awake. I wouldn't necessarily say it highlights under the eyes as this is not really what this concealer is for, but does do an amazing job to hide any dark circles before applying a highlighter on top. I have found that I can do this and do not find it to look cakey. This being said, I have found that it does crease slightly under the eyes, even when setting it with a powder. This is after a good four hours or so where and doesn't personally bother me, though is worth keeping in mind.
I also find that it conceals imperfections, spots and blemishes just as well and cancels out red tones just as well as it does purple tones. Although I would not say it conceals them to the point to which there is nothing there, it does do a good job at disguising any and the 'stand out' less. The one thing that this concealer covers very well is any scars or dark spots. I find that the thick consistency and the amazing coverage works really well on these problem areas and would say that they are virtually unnoticeable on these problem areas. I would recommend making sure your skin is well moisturised before applying this concealer as I do find it does tend to cling and draw attention to any dry patched on the skin.
The only slightly downside I have found to this concealer is that sometimes the colour can look a little orange, I especially find this when applying warm medium and sometimes find it is not the most natural looking colour. I have also found that these concealers do tend to oxidise a little on the skin and do get a little darker, so again, I would keep this in mind when selecting a shade.
This does last an extremely long time on the skin and other than the slight creasing under my eyes, I do not find myself needing to touch it up at all. I am unaware as to whether it in fact last 16 hours as I never wear my make up for that long, the longest I have makeup on for is around ten hours and find that it fairs up very well in that time. Despite its thick consistency I do not find it to be too heavy on my skin and actually find that it sits comfortably on my skin, though this is not to say that I do not notice it being there. I find that is can sometimes become a little bit oily looking after around 8 hours of wear, especially in the summer months, though find this is quickly fixed with a little powder or some blotting paper. I would not say that it is completely transfer proof, but I find this with most make up products anyway and have found it to withstand water well up to a certain degree.
Overall, I have been very impressed with this make up item and would definitely recommend it. It is not without its faults, as most make up items are, such as the fact it can sometimes look a little orangey and the fact a larger shade selection is definitely needed. I really like the high coverage of this concealer as it really does conceal everything I would want it to, it would be nicer if it was a little less thick in consistency, though again this is just me being picky. Due to the price I cannot really fault it and can definitely see myself going back to this concealer countless times as it is a new staple in my make up bag.
Just a little side note- the writing on the tube rubs off extremely easily and this can often leave it looking messy and a little grubby so if you are one of those people who like their make up items in pristine condition or for them to look neat and tidy then this may not be the one for you!
Admittedly, I wear a bronzer all year round, whether this is to add a little colour to my face or to contour, though in summer I really like to up my bronzing a little, especially as my body seems to tan naturally far more than my face does. Personally I prefer my bronzers to be a matte finish rather than the shimmery ones as I believe this gives them a more natural look and then they can also double up as a contouring product. Due to this reason I decided to give Benefit''s Hoola a go as this is one of there matte bronzing powders, it has also been the UK''s number one bronzing product for the last five years!
===~~Price and Availability~~===
Due to this being a slightly higher end make up product it is certainly not cheap costing £23.50 and admittedly I was a little dubious about spending this on a bronzer, though after having read many positive reviews I was pretty sure I was going to love it.
You can sometimes find Benefit products on offer, such as buy 2 items and receive one free, or buy 2 items and receive 10% discount, etc. Debenhams also often hold weekends or months when you can receive extra point on your beauty card when buying make up items, including Benefit.
Alongside most Benefit products this is available in larger department stores such as that of House of Fraser, Debenhams, John Lewis, etc. It is also available from independent Benefit stores, along with all the online stores. You can sometimes pick up Benefit items on places such as eBay, however Benefit fakes are often all sold on here so it is worth doing your research and making sure that the seller is trusted.
One of the things that I really love about Benefit is there packaging. All of there blushes/bronzers come in cute little boxes which when opened there is a mirror in the lid (which is not the best quality and is too small to apply make up in etc but is handy nonetheless) and a small brush which can be used to apply the product.
===~~Applying the product~~===
As previously mentioned, this bronzer does come complete with its own brush, this is a very small, narrow brush which has virtually no handle. I have tried applying with this brush, though have to say I do not like it. I have found that it picks up a good amount of product and does transfer it to the face, though find it has a fairly scratchy texture to it which makes it hard to blend the bronzer out. Due to it being quite flat it also makes it hard to apply to the cheeks and you can sometimes be left with just a ''stripe'' of colour as it''s very hard to blend it. I also found that due to it having almost no handle it sat very uncomfortably in my hand and couldn''t get the right grasp on it, which may be why I was a little heavy handed when applying the product this way.
I have also tried applying this with my own brush and have found this so much easier. When applying the bronzer it has a really soft and light texture to it, which means it is actually very easy to blend in; when using the right brush! I have however found that it is also very easy to pick up too much of the product in which case the bronzer can look very unnatural and to dark. I have found that simply tapping off any excess can easily avoid this though. This bronzer is also very buildable which means you can simply apply it very lightly all over the face for the natural sun kissed look and also build it up in certain areas to contour the face, like just below the cheekbones. I really like the fact that I can do this with just one product. I have found that even when building up the bronzer like this it does not become cakey or unnatural looking, which I think it mainly due to it being such a fine powder.
Despite it being a fairly fine powder I was pleased to find that this bronzer had virtually no fallout when applying and therefore the product went exactly where I would have liked it to go. As previously mentioned, because it is very blend able if it had had any fallout it would have been very easy to fix.
I was very pleased with the results of this bronzer, perhaps the thing that I was most impressed with was the colour. Alike most people I have a fear of bronzers being too orange and shimmery or too grey toned which can look ashy on the face, though found that this bronzer was somewhere in the middle in where it was a natural looking ''brown'' colour. Even when built up in the likes of contouring I was pleased to find that it did not look muddy on the cheeks and instead looked like a natural shadow.
I have found that this bronzer stays in place all day, even in this hot weather, which I particularly like as I don''t need to worry about it sliding down my face. Despite it being a matte shade I was also pleased to find that it didn''t look flat on my face and instead added a little definition and shape; especially when used to contour. I do sometimes add a shimmery bronzer on top of this just over the cheekbones for days when I fancy a little shimmer and have found that even when applying the two products on top of one another it does not become cakey looking.
Overall I am really impressed with this bronzer and can see me continuing to purchase it. Nars Laguna had been my favourite bronzer for a long time before this, but seeing as this one is a little cheaper and is ''more matte'' I can see this one becoming my new favourite very soon! It is definitely still a pricey bronzer costing just over £20, though I do think this is justified a little in both the quality of the bronzer and also the fact that a little really does go a long way so can see it lasting me a long time. I have had mine for around 3 months now and have only made a little dent in it!
The only downside to this bronzer would really be the brush that comes with it as I do think for the price you are paying the quality could have been a little better and the bristles colour have been a little softer. Nonetheless if you are not relying on this to apply the bronzer with then it doesn''t really matter a such.
If you are looking for a natural looking bronzer you can wear on a daily basis, not only to bronze all over the skin, but also to contour then I really would recommend this product and if you can still not justify the price I think it is definitely worth popping on a birthday or Christmas wish list!
Recently I have really been liking Rimmel as a brand and think they have released some very good quality make up items in the last year so when I went to Boots recently I tried to pick up a few things I have never tried before from their brand to test them out. One if these being a mono eyeshadow from their Glam Eyes range. I actually chose a colour I would not normally go for, mainly because I wanted a bit of a change and wanted to create a navy smokey eye and therefore the colour I selected was number 53; Celestial Blue.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
These eye shadows are fairly affordable, costing just £4.49 each; you also get a decent amount of eye shadow for this price I was pleased to see. They are currently in offer at Boots (21/07/2014) in which where you buy one you can get another half price.
Alike most Rimmel products they are available at all the stores you''''d normally expect to find it, these being the likes of Superdrug and Boots, larger supermarkets such as Sainsburys as well as many online retailers and some local chemists. Apparently you can also sometimes pick these up in the £1 shop, though some of these are rumoured to be out of date make up products, so if you can I would recommend trying to find/check the date on them.
These eye shadows come in their own plastic cases in which the top three quarters is the eye shadow and the rest is a small slot in which a sponge double ended applicator sits. Although I don''''t often use these applicators, I do like them when they are included as I often find they are great for touch ups throughout the day and have many other uses.
I was actually quite impressed with the colour range available as there was almost twenty different shades to choose from, going from more natural beiges and taupe''''s, to intense purples, blues and blacks. Although I had picked a rather intense blue shade, I had also wished there were a few more natural shades to wear on a day to day basis, though this may defeat the purpose of them being Glam''''Eyes Eye shadows.
===~~Applying the Eye shadow~~===
As I have just mentioned, I very rarely use the sponge applicators that eye shadows come with, though for the purpose of this review I did give it a go and as expected it was very poor. I did find that the sponge picked up ample enough product but when then going to transfer it to the eye there was almost no colour payoff and the eye shadow itself seemed very chalky across the eyelid. The sponge also felt fairly ''''cheap'''' and was quite scratchy when applying it to my eyelid so wasn''''t all that pleasant to use. This didn''''t really phase me too much as I had not originally intended to use this form of application, though if you are, I would keep this in mind when purchasing.
I then went onto apply it with a brush, which is how I apply all my eye shadows. I was pleased to find that again my brush picked up a good amount of the product and was even more pleased to see that there was little or no fallout when I went on to apply it across my eyelid. Having said this, I was extremely disappointed to see that the eye shadow was just not applying to my eyelid, it just seemed to be a very sheer, washed out blue colour which actually made me look a little ill. The eye shadow was very chalky which meant it was almost impossible to try and build up the colour to intensify it and even if I managed to do so I found that it looked patchy across my eye, where in some areas the colour was more intense then others.
I have also tried both primers underneath the eye shadow and also wetting the eye shadow a little to try and make it slightly creamier in colour to no joy; personally I found it almost impossible to apply evenly. I have tried to pack on the eye shadow with my finger as well as I find this can often transfer a lot of colour onto the lid, again with no joy.
It is fair to say that I was extremely unimpressed with the results of this eye shadow. I did actually end up removing it all and starting again with a different brand of eye shadow. This is mainly due to the fact that it looked like a five year old had applied my make up, it was very uneven, looked chalky, was virtually impossible to blend and achieve a smoky eye with. The fact that I had chosen a blue shade also didn''''t really help matters as it made me look ill, especially as the shade was nowhere near as intense as I wanted so was very washed out and did not help matters at all. A friend of mine had actually purchased the bronze shade at the same time and upon asking her she said that she had found it extremely hard to apply.
I cannot comment on how well this lasts throughout the day as mine really wasn''''t on for all that long, though I can only imagine it looking worse throughout the day. I have now applied this eye shadow on a few different occasions just to see whether it was just me having an ''''off day'''' but each time have achieved the same results.
Overall, it is fair to say I was extremely disappointed in this product, especially due to the fact I am a huge fan of the Rimmel brand. The are only a few positives I can think of, though I am struggling with this,the fact it had no fallout, they are affordable and often on offer and wide colour selection for a highstreet brand, other than that I find the quality of this eye shadow to be extremely poor and these positives definitely do not make up for it. For me, this eye shadow definitely failed to achieve ''''Glam Eyes'''' and for that reason I would not recommend it.
Over the years I have dabbled in many different brands of make up, however nowadays I tend to stick to the ones I know and like, so upon receiving a bottle of Benefit ''''High Beam'''' for my birthday I was very much delighted. Admittedly, I had not tried too many Benefit products before receiving this, however the ones I had tried I had loved and have always been drawn in by Benefits packaging and display.
==~~What is it?~~==
Benefit High Beam is a liquid (though I use this term fairly loosely as the product itself is fairly thick) highlighter, essentially used to highlight the cheekbones, nose, cupids bow or anywhere you''''d like to stand out a bit more and catch the light. Benefit actually describe it as a ''''Luminescent complexion highlighter''''.
It is fairly pink in tone and has a pearl like finish to it; Sun Beam is also available which is much more bronzy toned highlighter.
==~~Price and Availability~~==
This is by no means a cheap beauty product, costing £19.50 per 15 ml (average sized bottle). It can sometimes also be purchased in ''''sample'''' style sizes in which you get 4ml of product; though these are still sometimes priced around the £9 mark! Benefit products are not often in any sort of offer so the majority of the time you did have to end up paying this full price, though having said that Boots are currently doing an offer in which when you buy two Benefit products you receive a free gift. (17/07/2014.)
High Beam is fairly widely available to buy, all Benefit counters will stock it as it is one of their number one items. You can find the likes of Benefit counters in most large department stores, such as; Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis, etc. Some of the larger Boots stores also stock Benefit, as well as being able to find Benefit High Beam at many online retailers.
==~~Applying the product~~==
The product itself comes in a nail varnish like bottle, with a screw top lid and a brush to apply. I tend to find that the brush actually collects far too much product than what I need, so I tend to wipe the amount I would like off on the back of my hand and then continue to apply with my fingers. I have tried applying with the brush also, though tend to find this just spreads the product around my face and does not actually blend it in; so would definitely recommend using a brush or fingers to apply. As I have previously mentioned, the product is fairly thick on consistency which means it did feel fairly heavy when I first started to apply it to my skin. I was actually expecting it to be slightly greasy in texture, but was pleased to find it wasn''''t.
As I blended out the product I noticed it becoming more lightweight and once completely blended in I could not feel it at all on my cheeks and actually had a powder like finish in that it was not greasy or shiny looking at all, which I have had with some other highlighters. This being said, when I have used too much product in the past it can be very greasy and almost sticky feeling on the skin, so I would recommend starting of by just using a little and then building it up to the desired amount. The product itself is very easy to blend into the skin and feels silky and smooth whilst doing so. I have found the best way for me to apply the product is with my fingers as the warmth from them warms up the product meaning it is very smooth to blend and does so a little more flawlessly. I have also found that when applying with a brush, you can be left with brush strokes in the make up and it can be a little harder to blend in, sometimes resulting in the look of a ''''stripe'''' of product across the cheek bone.
I really love the results I get with this highlighter, it really does catch the light and draws attention to any high points on the face. I also really like the shade of this product; it is neither too pink tone or too white/cream toned, which means it looks slightly more ''''natural'''' and is not too obvious. The finish of it is luminescent as describes and really does add a glow to the cheeks. There are pieces of glitter in this highlighter, however, they are so fine that is almost looks like a soft shimmer, I really like this as it avoids that ''''disco ball'''' look you can sometimes get if there is too much glitter in a product.
What I really liked about this highlighter is that it looked good both in daylight/natural lighting and synthetic lighting and therefore if I applied it indoors I did not need to worry about going outdoors with it on and it looking too obvious or obnoxious. It stayed in place all day and does not become greasy or oily looking on the skin and just leaves a nice looking glow. It can be a little dewy looking, though if you do not like this look you can simply pop a little translucent powder over the top. I have found that this product is best applied directly after applying a foundation and works best over ''''liquid products'''' and then if you wish to you can then powder over the top. I have found that when I have powdered and then apply this over the top it does not blend as well and becomes ''''chunky'''' looking and cakey throughout the day and does not look as natural.
Although this could be used as an everyday product, I personally prefer to save it for something special or nights out etc. I think it really glams up an evening look and can sometimes look a little too much for a daytime look, in which I tend to normally lean towards a powder highlighter.
Overall, I have been really impressed with this product. I like the fact that it stays in place all day and does not need touching up and does not become oily looking throughout the day. I am also really impressed with the shade of this highlighter and can see it suiting many different skin tones. Although I still believe it to be very price at almost £20 I can see this lasting me a very long time as a little really does go a long way and I am even thinking about buying Sun Beam for the summer months now after having loved this product so much! I really would recommend this product and also think it makes a lovely gift for a make up enthusiast as it is something you would not always think of buying yourself and is an easy way to really glamourize a make up look!
As a self confessed beauty addict I am always on the look out for new products to try; whether these be new releases or just beauty products I have not tried yet. One of my utmost favourite things to try out is foundations, hence whey I am reviewing a foundation today. Personally, I tend to opt for quite high coverage foundations that still have a skin like look and texture to them and are not too heavy. This can sometimes be a little difficult to find as I often find that high coverage foundations can sometimes feel heavy or greasy on the skin or can become cakey looking with general wear throughout the day. The latest foundation I decided to put through its paces was the L'oreal true match foundation.
This foundation claims to give outstanding coverage without caking, while being a natural looking, skin-true formula which does not lead tide marks. Personally I think if you do buy a foundation in the wrong colour, especially if it is more than one shade too pale or too dark then of course you are going to be left with a tide mark, so I believe this claim to be a little false.
==~~Price and Availibility~~==
In most places this foundation costs £9.99, which I find to be a fairly affordable price for a drugstore foundation. Although of course there are far more inexpensive ones on the market, even at highstreet prices some are much pricier so believe it to sit fairly mid range. They are also often on offer, such as the 3 for 2 offer that is currently on in Boots, or sometime have money off.
I find these foundations to be fairly widely available. They can be purchased from the usual Boots or Superdrug and also the likes of eBay, Feel Unique and Amazon. There are currently 23 different shades available for this foundation, however the downside is that I find my local Boots (which is a large store) does not stock all the shade and seems to stock between 12 and 15 different shades. They are all available on the website, though unless you know which shade you are going to be, then this could be a little hard to decipher your shade.
==~~Applying the foundation~~==
The first thing I noticed about this foundation was that it had a pump. I personally prefer foundations with a pump as I find them way easier that pouring foundation onto the back of your hand or scooping it out of a pot. I also find the foundation itself keeps a little cleaner this way. In one pump you get a decent amount and is all I tend to usually need and sometimes go for just a half pump on days when I just want a little coverage in certain areas. This is a reasonably runny liquid foundation and personally I had actually expected it to be a little thicker in consistency. As I always do with my foundations, I used a brush to apply it and was very pleased to find how it both felt lightweight and non greasy to apply. The consistency is extremely easy to work with, making it very easy to blend into the skin. I also don't find that it sets to fast, meaning I really get time it work the foundation into the skin to make it look as natural as possible.
It's light and silky like texture really makes the foundation a dream to work with, also allowing it to be easily blendable. The foundation itself is quite pigmented, meaning that a little does go a long way and often I do find myself pumping out a little too much. I tend to find after one coat of my foundation my skin looks much more even, smoother and altogether more flawless. I find that it covers my under eye circles and any redness extremely well, however, wherever I have a little scarring I do feel the need to go back over with either a little more foundation or some concealer as I find this foundation does not cover blue or purple tones all that well.
I really like how this foundation looks in my skin. I find that it sets to a semi-matte finish, which I personally tend to find is the most natural and flattering finish. I do set my foundation with powder, however this is just to prolong the wear of my make up. As previously mentioned this foundation does feel very lightweight on the skin and often does not feel like I am wearing make up, which I really enjoy. I find that throughout the day it does not necessarily get greasy, but I do get a little shiny through my t-zone, so I do feel the need to touch up with a little powder. I was also pleased to find that this did not make the makeup look cakey. As far as a tide mark goes, I do believe this is all down to whether or not you select the right shade for you, as sometimes I feel like the foundation is a little too dark for me and have to blend down my neck and other days I feel it matches my skin perfectly.
Overall I have been really impressed with the quality of this foundation, I like how it makes my skin look much perfected whilst still having a natural finish to it. I do not quite believe this foundation to be of 'perfect coverage' or even that of high coverage, though it is definitely buildable to that of a desired coverage. Although I am not quite convinced this is my 'perfect foundation' (although I am not altogether that convinced it exists) I would be more than happy to repurchase this foundation and therefore am awarding it four stars.
I am always on the look out to try new make up items and normally am very quick to jump on the band wagon as soon as a new beauty item, may it be gimmick or not, is bought out. Despite this, I was very slow in trying these Maybelline Colour tattoos, I am not quite sure why this, nonetheless I am very pleased I eventually got round to trying this product.
===~~The product and its claims~~===
Essentially this an eye shadow that claims to last for 24 hours on the eyes, though can also be used as a primer to apply powder eye shadow over the top in order to give this eye shadow a longer length. It is a cream gel formulation so it is therefore meant to have the staying power and pigmentation of a cream eye shadow, but feel a little lighter on the eyes due to the fact it is more a gel formulation, which also allows for a smoother application. Personally, I don't tend to wear my eye shadow for 24 hours, however often my eye shadow does begin to crease or look a little worn throughout the day, especially if I go out of a night so I was hoping that this eye shadow would be different in that it would last the duration of the time I was wearing it.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
These colour tattoos are very affordable and cost £4.99 and for this price the pot is also a fairly decent size and you do get quite a lot of product. They are also often on offer, whether it be buy one get one half price or on 3 for 2. They are actually currently on 3 for 2 at Boots (22/10/13).
As with most Maybelline products these colour tattoo eye shadows are available from Boots and Superdrug, along with some pharmacies and some larger supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda. They can also be ordered online from some of these places and are sometimes for sale on the likes of eBay. I tend to find they are very easy to get hold of, though often find that the full colour range isn't always available, not even in some of the larger Boots stores, so sometimes I do end up ordering them online if I am after a particular colour.
When trying out a new make up line, particularly be it an eye shadow, I always like to check out the colour range. As far as I am aware there are nine colour options available, so isn't the most vast line available, however I feel that this range covers most colours to suit different people; whether it being a bright blue, a bronze or a deep black colour. One thing I noticed about these colour tattoos is that they are all metallic (they were designed to be bold metallic shades) which I liked as I often find shimmery or metallic shades a little easier to wear, nonetheless if you are a fan of matte shades then these wouldn't really suit you.
===~~Applying the Eye Shadow~~===
There are a few different ways you can apply this eye shadow, whether it be with a brush, a small or cosmetic sponge or with the fingertips. I personally find the easiest way to apply this eye shadow is with my fingertips and also find this is the way I get the best results. The first thing I noticed when applying this eye shadow was the texture of it, it was unlike most cream eye shadows I had used in the past and indeed did feel much lighter, almost like a whipped texture. It neither felt sticky nor greasy to use and all in all I really liked the formulation. To apply I simply ran a small amount of the eye shadow across my eyelid; I found that this was very easy to do and the eye shadow glided across my eye lid very smoothly. Due to the light, yet creamy texture of the eye shadow I found that it was very easy to apply from my inner corner of the eye to the outer corner without it pulling or dragging on my eye.
After one layer of the eye shadow I decided that the colour was not quite as dramatic as I had wanted it to be. Oddly, I did find it to be very pigmented and one 'coat' would have been fine, however I was hoping for the colour to be a little more intense. It was very easy to add another layer of this eye shadow and despite it being a cream/ gel formulation I found that it did not move any of the previously applied eye shadow. I found that this eye shadow did set relatively quickly on the eyes, though I found I had enough time to blend out any of the edges. Despite the fact I found the best way to apply the eye shadow was with the fingertips, I did find that the best way to blend it was with a synthetic brush. I only did this to the other line of eye shadow as otherwise I do find that due to the intensity of the eye shadow it can look a little harsh. The eye shadow was a lot easier to blend that I had expected and gave the eye shadow a slightly softer look.
I tend to use this eye shadow in two ways; as an eye shadow on its own or as a primer for other eye shadows. I have to say I was very pleased with both results and although I am not sure whether this eye shadow would last 24 hours on the eye, it definitely lasts considerably longer than eye shadows, be them a cream or powder formulation, I have used in the past.
==~~When used alone~~==
When used alone this eye shadow does last on the eyes. It gives a lovely metallic look to the eyes, which looks great on its own with a bit of mascara or with a little bit of eye liner. What I particularly liked about this eye shadow is that although it was metallic it was not too over the top and shimmery and was a little more subtle that I had expected it to be. My favourite shade that I currently own is that of On and On Bronze, which is a lovely warm bronze colour; I find this colour great for daily use and if I am in a rush I find this a really easy colour to pop on my eyes as it requires almost no effort, yet looks very pretty on the eyes.
I find that when worn alone I can get at least eight or nine hours wear out of the eye shadow and despite it being a cream eye shadow I was pleased to find that during this time it did not become heavy feeling on the eye, neither did it become oily or greasy feeling. I was even more pleased to find that the eye shadow did not gather in the crease of my eye, which many cream eye shadows have done previously.
==~~When used as a primer~~==
This is my favourite way to use this eye shadow as I find that it makes powder eye shadows last on me all day, opposed to the fact I normally feel the need to touch them up after a couple of hours. I find that when used as a primer it really helps to set any eye shadow I apply afterwards into place and keeps it there; I particularly like doing this if I go on a night out as I know that my eye shadow will stay in place all night without having to worry about it creasing or wearing off. I do find that you can see the colour of the Maybelline Tattoo through any eye shadow applied over the top, so it is best to go for similar colours when using it in this way. I have also applied matte shades over the top of this and do find that the colour tattoo does add a metallic sheen to the eye shadow which I actually like, nonetheless if you build up the matte shade enough then you can no longer see this.
I actually prefer using these Colour Tattoos as primers to that of Mac paint pots or the Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer as I think these add more depth to the eye and personally find them a lot easier to work with.
Overall I have been thoroughly impressed with these Colour Tattoos by Maybelline, especially when considering the price. I now own a few of the shades and have been very impressed with all of them; both in terms of staying power and pigmentation. Due to the fact a little goes a long way I can see them lasting me a long time, especially when considering I have owned some of mine for 4 months now and they have not even begun to dry up. The only slightly downside to these is that I do find that they can stain the eyes a little; especially the blue one. I would not say that they are particularly hard to remove and find that a little bit of cleanser will remove them, I just find that sometimes they leave a stain.
All in all I would definitely recommend these little pots of greatness and I will definitely continue to use them; I would actually quite like to see them bring out some matte ones, though the metallic ones are fantastic for now!
Admittedly, Vichy is a brand that I hadn't heard of until six or so months ago when I was looking for a new foundation. Personally, I like my foundation to be very full coverage but also like it to feel lightweight on the skin and not to look cakey, which can be hard to find, especially in a high street price bracket. Vichy is ultimately a skin care brand with products designed to promote healthier and younger looking skin along with a line that is especially designed for imperfection or acne prone skin. Despite this being their main area they have also got a make up line out in which one of their items is this Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation.
===~~The Claims / Why I opted for this foundation~~===
This foundation claims to be a corrective foundation which gives total/ full coverage which is one of the main reason I opted for this. I am not often prone to break outs, however my skin is very uneven and does have some scars and hyper pigmentation left from previous years and personally I like my foundation to cover this without feeling the need to apply layers of foundation and concealer. Though it claims to be a full coverage foundation it also claims to have a lightweight, matte finish that can last up to 12 hours on the skin. Personally, I was not too sure as to whether it would live up to this claim as personally I find that many foundations I have used, despite the brand or price, rarely last this long on the skin and can begin to look a little tired before this.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
This foundation costs £15.50 for 30ml. This is a little more than some high street foundations, though is also considerably cheaper than some higher brand foundations. I also find that brand Vichy is often on offer (especially in Boots) with offers such as 3 for 2 or 1/3 off which makes the foundation a little more affordable.
As mentioned, you can buy this foundation, along with most of the Vichy range from Boots and also some Lloyds pharmacies also stock it.
Personally I found that colour matching my skin to these foundations was a little difficult; there are only five available shades in Boots and each shade seems to be quite a lot darker than the previous and therefore it is hard to get an exact match. I currently am using this foundation in two shades mixed together in order to get a more 'perfect' match. The lightest shade that is currently available is number 15, Opal, which personally I do not find to be that pale and therefore is you have extremely pale skin then you may find it hard to wear this foundation. There are a few darker, warmer colours available, however again there is not a very dark colour on offer. I have also found this foundation to oxidise a little a couple of hours after wear on the skin, so it also worth considering this fact when purchasing the foundation.
===~~Applying the Foundation~~===
As with all my foundations I opted for a stippling brush to apply this foundation with as I find it the easiest way. I began by squeezing a little of the foundation onto the back of my hand and the first thing I noticed was how runny the foundation was which may be due to the fact it is enriched with thermal spa water. Despite the foundation seeming runny, it did not seem watery or greasy on the skin and I could already see how pigmented the foundation was, meaning that a little should go a long way. The foundation moved across the skin very easily and indeed did feel extremely lightweight when applying. The foundation had a satin like texture to it, in that it was not completely moisturising and neither did it feel drying on the skin and in fact the balance felt just right.
Due to the high pigmentation of the foundation I found that I only needed to use a very small amount of this foundation as it did go a long way; considerably less foundation than I have had to use with some other brands. I found the foundation was extremely easy to blend and work into the skin, meaning that it did not look like the foundation was simply sitting on top of the skin. One thing I did find was that I had to work relatively quickly with this foundation as it did seem to 'set' on the skin and become matte fairly quickly. After one layer of the foundation I was very impressed to see that any redness in my skin was taken away, as well as the dark circles under my eyes. In fact the foundation had done well to camouflage pretty much everything I had wanted it to; I did feel the need to go in with just a tiny bit more over some scars although could have got away without doing so. Due to the high coverage of this foundation I did not feel the need to also wear concealer, however I did add come under the eyes just to make me look a little more awake.
===~~Results / How long did it last?~~===
I was very impressed with how this foundation looked on my skin, although it claimed to be a matte finish I would actually say it was a semi-matte finish as it definitely added a glow and slightly luminous look to my skin. I actually preferred this as it made my skin look a little more healthy than had it been a perfect matte finish; even when having set the foundation with powder I still find it gives a semi-matte finish. I was pleased to see that this foundation really did give a full coverage, flawless look yet was even more pleased to find that it did not look cakey on my skin. Even where my skin was slightly drier I found that the foundation did not cling to these areas which some other foundations I have used in the past have done. Due to the fact that just a small amount was needed in order to create the coverage I found that the foundation felt lightweight on my skin all day and was very comfortable to wear.
Despite the fact I had a little trouble picking out a shade to suit my skin, I found that it actually suited my skin pretty well and there were not any awful tidal lines. Although the foundations were very warm in colour and there were not very cool based shades available, I found that the foundation did not at all look orange and in fact looked every so slightly more pink toned if anything. As mentioned, I do find that this foundation can oxidise a little after being on the skin for an hour or so and appears a little darker, though it is nothing too dramatic and does not overly change the colour of the foundation.
I do not believe that this foundation lasts 12 hours on the skin and definitely not the 16 hours it claims to when used in conjunction with their setting powder. I personally find that I can get a good eight hours of wear out of this foundation, which is plenty enough for me, however after this I find that the foundation does begin to look worn and I would feel the need to touch it up in a few places. I also feel that after eight or so hours the foundation can become ever so slightly 'clammy' feeling on my skin and therefore I would not really like to wear it for much longer. Within the 7/8 hour mark I find that the foundation stays in place very well all day, though despite the fact it claims to be a matte finish I do find I sometimes need to dust a little powder over my nose as sometimes it can look a little too shiny for my liking.
I find that some cleanser removes this foundation easily and it is not at all stubborn to remove. Though I do find I need to go over my skin a few times in order to ensure that all the make up is removed due to the fact that it is such a high coverage foundation.
Overall I have been thoroughly impressed with this foundation, especially that of the coverage as it is just what I was looking for. I will most likely continue to purchase this foundation for a while, though as it is not quite the perfect foundation I suspect I will carry on looking to try out others. I feel that it is well worth the £15.50 and in many ways find it to be very similar to that of Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation which is over £10 more expensive. I also like the fact that a little goes a very long way with this foundation, meaning that I can see it lasting me a very long time. Since using this foundation, along with other products from the Vichy Skin care line I have also noticed a huge difference in the appearance of my skin, in that it looks more even and much brighter; though I am pretty sure that this is not down to the foundation I can confirm that I am now a huge fan of the brand Vichy as a whole and would recommend this foundation.
A couple of years ago I had a complete overhaul of my bag and purse collection, which was mainly due to the fact I had way too many bags and most of them were either looking a bit worn or were ones that I no longer used. When doing this I decided to invest in a few more expensive pieces, not necessarily worth hundreds, but just a little more than the high street brands I was previously buying. One of these items was the Ted Baker purse, now these come in a few different sizes, though I opted for the 'Kassady' purse (which I am pretty sure is the one pictured above) in a bright, yet not neon pink colour. This purse was one of the larger sizes as I like that it had lots of compartments and the flap open style, yet was not the largest. The largest to me looked a little more like a clutch bag opposed to a purse due to the size of it.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
This purse is priced at £75, which may sound a little expensive considering the fact that although Ted Baker may be classed as a 'premium' brand it is also not the best on the market and there may be better manufactured purses on the market. Nonetheless now having owned this purse for close to two and a half years, which is the longest I have ever owned a purse as often I become bored and like to change them up, I thoroughly believe it is worth this price. This is of course for the larger sized purse and there are other sizes available for a little cheaper and the small size is available for £65; though personally I believe it is worth paying the extra £10 for the larger size as I believe it to be more beneficial to the extra space and card slots.
These are available in different colours, though currently on the website I can only see two. Though I tend to find there is often more selection in store. The purses tend to be one colour on the outside and then a contrasting colour on the inside. As mentioned mine is a bright pink on the outside and a orange colour on the inside. I cannot see this one of the website at the moment (and mine is slightly different to the current Kassady due to the time of purchase) however they tend to bring out more colour choices and brighter colours during the summer. It comes presented in a lovely green 'postcard' style box, wrapped in tissue paper which also makes it a lovely gift and the fact that it comes presented in a box really gives it that luxury item look.
Due to it being a Ted Baker product I do tend to find it is fairly widely available. It is of course available in Ted Baker stores (and their online store) and is also available from larger department stores such as that of House of Fraser, John Lewis and others. ASOS also stock certain Ted Baker items too and you can sometimes pick up Ted Baker items for a little discount on eBay.
The purse itself (the £75 priced one) is 19cm x 10 cm x 3cm. I personally really like the size of the purse, it is considerably bigger than purses I have used in the past, especially that of coin purses. This makes it extremely easy to find in my bag and I do not find myself digging around for it, nonetheless it is a little too big for some of my smaller bags. I don't really mind this as I tend to only carry small bags when going to concerts or on a night out and then I can simply zip some money in a side pocket and I don't really like the idea of carrying my purse with me with all my cards in it then just in case I misplace it. The main and inner of the purse are 100% leather, whilst the lining is 100% polyester. The fact that it is leather makes it feel much more of a luxury item to hold and makes it look a little more expensive and that of a luxury item. I have personally found the leather to be of very high quality and therefore has been very hard wearing and despite the fact I often just throw this purse in my bag and have dropped it numerous times as of yet it is not showing any signs of wear. Despite the outer being made of leather it does have a plastic/patent like finish to it. Although this sounds like it may be a little cheaper looking, I actually really like the look. It is a bit different to the crocodile/ worn like leather and gives the purse a really smooth look. Due to this it also incredibly easy to wipe down if it ever gets a bit dirty or grubby looking.
The lining of this purse is also incredibly pretty. It has a silky like feeling to it and is a mixture of dark and light greys. Although this may sound like it will contras with the bright pink and orange colour of my purse it somehow works and adds a little bit of 'class' to the bright pink colour. The print on the lining is big, bold roses which adds a certain elegance to the purse and is what really reminds me of the pretty Ted Baker prints. I love the bright pop of pink colour this purse has to it and really does make it look really eye-catching. The fact that it is also not a neon pink makes it a little more subtle, though is definitely not a subtle purse. The purse has a flap over design, which I really like as it fastens with a simple singular popper which means it is very easy to access. I particularly like the fact that it does not have a zip all the way round as some of the larger purses do and personally find this way of accessing the purse much quicker. Despite it being a single popper I find it to be very strong and sturdy and have never had any problems with it undoing. When opened you are met with eight slots along the top of the purse for cards. I find the cards to slide in and out of these very easily, yet at the same time are very secure in there and again have never had any problems with any of them sliding out. However I would strongly recommend not putting a card in the first 'clear' card stock as I have made this mistake and it is near impossible to remove. Therefore this slot is bet for use of a photo or something similar. There is also a pocket like feature in the top of the purse underneath where you store the cards. This is lined with the lovely floral print and I find this pocket really useful for storing shopping lists or 'to do' lists as then I know they are always with me and know exactly where they are.
In the bottom half of the purse there is two large slots for notes/ vouchers or more lists. Notes fit easily length ways in this compartment. The compartments open up fairly widely so that you can see what you have in these pockets, but not too much so you feel that your purse/ money in your purse is exposed. I also like the fact that you have two of these pockets as it means it you need to separate money or if you need to give somebody money it is easy to store the money in the two separate compartments to avoid confusion. You are then met with the bobble clasp for the coin compartment. The bobble clasp is perhaps my favourite thing about this purse, I think this may be due to the fact that many purses do not have this nowadays. The current Kassady has crystals in the bobble clasp, however mine has round orange enamel pieces with the letters T and B on them. There is currently another purse with this enamel clasp, however they are rectangular in shape and not the same bobble clasp. This clasp I again find to be very secure and it has never accidently opened. Though I do find sometimes I forget to close it and just secure the main part of the purse and I do find that when I do this any coins I do have still manage to fall out, so it is very important to ensure you close the clasp. There are again two compartments in this section, though I do find that most of the money gets muddled in these compartments anyway. I tend to find that you can store a fair few coins in this compartment, though fewer than other purses I have used in the past as it does become difficult to do up the clasp when too full.
There is then another four card slots, which is great for me as I seem to have a card for everything, luckily most of them are only loyalty cards though! Again the cards are secure in here yet very easy to get in and out as needed. Finally there is a zip on the back, when I first got this purse the zip was very hard to undo and zip back up, yet over time it has become much easier to do. I tend to not use this section of the purse too often as I find there is enough storage in the rest of the purse for me, nonetheless I find it a nice design feature.
Overall I am bother very pleased and impressed with my purchase. I think the quality of the item is fantastic and as of yet, despite the fact I have owned it for near enough two and a half years, it is showing very little, if any signs of wear. It has also maintained its bright pink colour and has not become dull over time, the fact that the outer is a wipe down material helps this and does make it extremely easy to maintain. The only thing I do find that wears on this purse is the stitching running around the purse. The stitching is the same colour as the purse, meaning that it is not too noticeable however overtime I have found that the colour of the stitching has stained a little and become a little darker. This can be cleaned up, though requires a little more time and effort than that of cleaning the main of the purse.
I really love this purse and think the £75 price tag of this purse is extremely well justified, since purchasing mine a few of my friends have even purchased them in different colours. The only thing about this purse is that Ted Baker are constantly updating it and bringing out different versions meaning that it doesn't stay 'new' for long, this doesn't bother me though for those who like to stay more up to date this could cause an issue. I am awarding this purse five stars as I believe it thoroughly deserves them and should it become very tatty, grubby or just in the need of up dating I would not hesitate about purchasing another one.
I wear nail varnish all the time and sometimes am too busy to remove or touch it up, so to me it is essential to have a good, long wearing topcoat to ensure the best wear out of my nail varnish. I often tend to buy a top coat and base coat all in one as it is often cheaper and I find it easier to just use the one bottle, however on my recent trip to Boots I was in a bit of a rush so just picked up the first clear/ top coat nail varnish I could see. The one that I happened to pick up was this 17 Nails Xtra Double Gloss top coat. It's claims were fairly similar to all other top coats I have used in the past; a hard wearing, high gloss top coat that prolongs polish wear. Having never used this previously and having not read any reviews on it I wasn't sure what to expect from it, yet having used it numerous times I am very pleased with my purchase.
===~~~Price and Availibility~~===
This nail varnish top coat is priced at a reasonable, average price of £3.99, although there are cheaper priced top coats out there I personally don't find these to be too shiny so I was hoping that due to the name of this one being named 'double gloss' it would be considerably shiner than those. 17 items are often on offer, such as 3 for 2 as they are currently (25.3.2013) so it is very rarely I pay full price for the items from this range. There is 10ml in the bottle.
As this is a seventeen item, they are limited to Boots store and their online store; nonetheless you can sometimes pick up the items at a discounted price on eBay- though sometimes there will be postage costs so it is worth keeping this in mind.
===~~Applying the nail varnish~~===
The nail varnish has a fairly wide, straight brush which makes application very easy. I was pleased to see that the nail varnish did not smell strongly or chemically in anyway and in fact any 'nail varnish' scent was almost non detectable. The wide brush means it is very easy to coat the whole nail and meaning one 'dip' in the top coat will coat the whole nail easily and tends to do so in three strokes. The nail varnish is very smooth in consistency to apply and does glide along the nail with ease, yet it also seems to be quite thick in texture and is not as runny as some top coats I have used in the past. I like this about the nail varnish as it means I can use less and therefore apply fewer coats as I do not feel the need to build the nail varnish up.The brush did seem to pick up quite a lot of the nail varnish, particularly when new, so I did feel the need to wipe any excess on the side, though I was please to find that this did not congest the side/top of the bottle in anyway.
I was please to find that the topcoat was very fast drying and in around 3 minutes was touch dry, though this did depend on how much I had used as when I used a little more to give my nails a gel like look I did find it took between five and ten minutes to dry. I was also pleased to find that the top coat nail varnish did not drag or smudge any of the coloured nail varnish I had applied underneath meaning that the colour of the nail varnish did not colour the brush in anyway. I really liked this as often in the past I have used nail varnishes which have picked up the previously applied colour, staining the brush, which means that when returned to the bottle it colours the top coat therefore meaning I no longer have a clear nail varnish. Although I could have applied just the one coat of this nail varnish as it was indeed very glossy, I decided to apply another as I really wanted to deal in my nail polish and ensure it would be as long lasting as it could be.
Although this is both named and sold as at top coat I have also used it as a base coat as I find it easier to use one bottle of nail varnish for both uses. I have found that this top coat applies just as smoothly onto the bare nail as it does on top of nail varnish. It again looks very glossy on the bare nail and dries extremely quickly.
I really like this top coat and believe it thoroughly lives up to its same 'double gloss'. I am not actually sure what the 'double' part in the name actually refers to, unless it means especially glossy which it very much is. The glossy finish really catches the light and makes the nails look very professional. It is definitely one of the glossiest, shiniest top coats I have ever used and in my mind the finish of this top coat far surpasses that of some of the more expensive, leading brands. I particularly like I the fact that the top coat maintains this shine throughout the time of wearing that nail varnish/ before it begins to chips as I have found that some other brands can go a little 'dull' after a couple days of wearing. I also like the fact that even when I have applied this nail varnish in a big of a rush and therefore done so a little unevenly it manages to even itself out on the nail, which I think may be due to the slightly thick consistency, creating a very smooth look on the nail.
I do believe this top coat prolongs the longevity of my nail varnish, though perhaps not as much as I would have liked. When not wearing a top coat I tend to find my nail varnish starts to chip sarong day two and begins to become quite noticeable by day three, however when wearing this top coat my nail varnish begins to chip around day four. I would have liked this this top coat to help my nail varnish to last between five days and a week as I have found some other top coats have done this in the past, nonetheless it was better than when I do not wear one at all. Despite this, I really like the way this top coat makes my nails feel. I find that it dries I quite a thick layer, which I know that others may not like, but I personally do. This is because it gives my nails a 'gel' like feel and makes them feel really strong and healthy; I think this enables the top coat to be a little more hard wearing as it claims.
When using this nail varnish as a base coat I again find it helps to prolong the wear of my nail varnish a little, though what I really like about using this nail varnish as a base coat is that it helps to prevent my nails from staining, especially when wearing underneath bright colours such as reds, oranges and blues. I tend to find I need to apply two coats of this when using it as a base coat as when I use just the one coat I find that sometimes the nail varnishes I apply can still stain my nails. Nonetheless for a nail varnish that I'd designed to be a top coat, I find that it fairs very well as a base coat and does the job equally as well.
Overall, I have been really impressed with this nail varnish. Unfortunately it does not enable my nail varnish to last quite as long as I would have hoped, though the fact that it does make my nail varnish last a little longer means that it is better than when not wearing it at all. Perhaps my most favourite thing about this top coat was in fact the glossy finish to it and I feel that the finish this top coat gives far out ways that of the lasting power to me. I like the fact that it maintains this shine as it makes my nails look really healthy and strong, whilst at the same time having a professional finish. I have also found myself to be splitting my nails a lot less frequently and to be experiencing a lot less breakages when wearing this top coat opposed to when not wearing one at al. I think this may be due to the slightly thick, yet in no ways sticky or gloopy, consistency which almost 'coats' the nails to help avoid this from happening.
Therefore although it does not quite allow the longevity I would have liked, the glossy finish, prevention of stains, less frequent breakages and inexpensive price means that I still believe it deserves the full five stars.
I often tend to go for a very matte finish foundation as my skin used to be combination to oily, however in previous months it has become quite dry and look fairly dull so as well as changing my skin care I felt the need to also change my foundation in order to inject a little more 'life' into my skin. Earlier that year (2012) Rimmel had released their new foundation, 'Wake Me Up' which is described as an anti fatigue foundation that gives an instant glow which was exactly what I was looking for. Not only this but it is also described as a lightweight foundation that has a moisturising texture that is comfortable to wear all day, I was really intrigued as to this 'moisturising texture' as thought this would also help my dry skin, so decided to purchase a bottle.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
This foundation is relatively inexpensive with it being a high street foundation and is priced at £8.99. This is for 30ml, which is the 'average' amount for most foundations, so I was very pleased with the price. Not only this but Rimmel products, including this foundation, are often on offer such as 3 for 2 or every now and then this foundation had £2 off making it just £6.99.
Alike all Rimmel products tis foundation is available in both the likes of Boots and Superdrug. Rimmel is now also being stocked in quite a few of the larger supermarkets, such as that of Asda and Sainsburys, not only this but also many pharmacies now have a small Rimmel stand. You can sometimes pick up this foundation on eBay for a little cheaper, though is worth knowing your shade first as I personally found matching my skin tone to this foundation fairly hard.
===~~Choosing a Shade~~===
Upon checking the Boots website there are currently six shades available in this foundation; I actually thought that there was more than this when selecting one so I am not sure whether they may be more in store. I would not say I necessarily have pale skin, although it is light; this normally does not cause me an issue when buying a foundation and I actually normally end up with the 3rd/ 4th colour option. Despite this, selecting a colour shade in this foundation I found very difficult, even the lightest shades in the collection all appeared to be too dark and not only this them all seemed to have an orange tone to them. In the end I settled upon the colour 'True Ivory' as it was slightly more pink toned to that of the shade 'Ivory' which was quite cool toned which would have not suited my skin tone as well.
For this reason I would definitely recommend going in store to see the colour shades for yourself if you are considering buying this foundation. Although I have mentioned that most of them seemed too dark or orange toned, I will also mention that they didn't have any darker shades available and seemed to be only catering the 'medium' shades.
===~~Applying the foundation~~===
As with all my foundations I decided upon using my Real Techniques stippling brush to apply. I simply pumped a small amount on the back of my hand and the first thing I noticed was the lovely scent this foundation had to it; of course this is not ideal for those who do not like scented make up/ face products however I found the scent really refreshing. It is quite a light, fruity scent that actually reminds me of cucumber and is not at all floral or heavy, the smell is also non existent once applied and is only really noticeable when blending the foundation into the skin. Despite me assuming the shade I had picked would be too dark for me, I was actually really pleasantly surprised to find it was in fact a very good match for my skin. The foundation was neither thick nor runny in consistency meaning I could easily blend the foundation into the skin. The texture of the foundation was indeed very smooth and even felt silky on the skin; it indeed felt lightweight when blending the foundation in and was not heavy feeling. Despite this if I applied a little too much foundation I quickly found this foundation to become a little heavy feeling and even a little greasy feeling, though as said this was only when too much had been used.
When applying this foundation I did actually notice the moisturising texture to this foundation, although I am unaware as to whether it is moisturising in a nourishing way, it feels really creamy and healthy on the skin. I particularly liked this as if I was skin was dry in any specific areas than this foundation blended easily over the top of these areas rather than exaggerating them or becoming cakey. Due to the silky consistency this foundation was extremely easy to blend into my face and I found that a little really went a long way, despite this it did have a sheer/ medium finish to it so if a more flawless finish was wanted then I did feel the need to build up the foundation for a little more coverage. As long as I did this moderately to avoid applying too much and the 'greasy' feeling then this was again very easy to do and I was pleased to see that it did cause the foundation to cake.
===~~The Finish/ Results~~===
The finish as I have mentioned is medium, which I really like as it gives a natural looking finish but still manages to even out the skin tone and conceal any blemishes. Personally, I do not believe it gives the 'instant flawless' looking finish, however does definitely give a healthy, natural looking finish which I actually prefer. Although it does do well to even out most of the skin tone, I do find that if my skin is having a particularly bad day or I have had a breakout then I still do need to use a concealer, though I often use a concealer after applying foundation anyway so this wasn't too different to me. I did find that an hour or two into wearing this foundation it did oxidise a little, meaning it did get a little darker, luckily I had blended this foundation down onto my neck so this wasn't too noticeable, however it is worth keeping this in my mind if you are considering buying this foundation.
This foundation indeed had a very dewy, glow like finish to it, though I think this was mainly due to the fact it is a fairly glittery, sparkly foundation and these (very) small particles of glitter in the foundation is what gives it this radiance like effect. I really liked this as I did definitely feel it made my skin more healthy looking and was not as dull as it had been looking when wearing my previous matte foundation. Nonetheless due to the dewy finish and glitter particles, this foundation can sometimes look a little odd in certain lights, one of them being sunlight. Now this is not all the time and is especially infrequent in England, but in very direct, bright sunlight this foundation can sometimes be a bit overkill as it reflects the light making your skin look very shiny and bright. Other than this in most lights the foundation sits very well and as previously mentioned my skin just looks glowy. If you add a powder over the top of this foundation then it can be easily avoided anyway; I tend to add a powder anyway as it sets the foundation in place and still allows a glow to show through if applied lightly. This dewy finish to the foundation can often cause flashback when photos are being taken (as can the SPF 15 in this foundation) so although this foundation is great for daily use it may not be as well suited if you are going to an event, birthday or somewhere you know photos are going to be taken.
This foundation sits very comfortably on the skin and I was pleased to find that it did not become greasy throughout the day. I was also pleased with the longevity of this foundation, if I had applied in the morning I could easily get through to the evening without feeling the need to reapply; though most likely would if I was going out in the evening. I did find that this foundation did sometimes look a little shiny in my T-Zone which was something I do not normally suffer from with having fairly dry skin, though I think this may be due to the dewiness of the powder. Nonetheless this was easily fixed with a light dusting of powder (which again did not make the foundation go cakey) and I only really felt the need to do this 2-3 times throughout the day. Throughout the day this foundation indeed felt very light and the creamy texture my skin did feel well moisturised throughout the day.
After removing the foundation I was actually surprised to find my skin felt smooth and soft and although I am not sure as to whether this foundation had actually moisturised my skin or not, it has definitely not irritated it anyway or cause any dryness.
Overall, I have been very pleasantly surprised by this foundation and have since purchased another bottle. I tend to find the foundation lasts me between 3 and 4 months, which I find most foundations do and therefore for the price I find this an exceptionally good buy. This foundation is great for my everyday use and suits my skin type perfectly, I'm not sure whether it would suit those who have oily skin as well as the glowy/ dewy finish to it may make your skin appear more oily. I like the fact it has a natural finish on the skin as it means my skin does not look cakey and the fact it is dewy makes my skin look really healthy. I also believe this foundation does have an 'anti fatigue' effect as the dewiness of the foundation really helps to brighten up my skin and therefore does help to awaken it.
I definitely recommend this foundation, though feel it is more suited with those with dry or dry combination skin opposed to that of oily; although as I do not have oily skin I cannot be sure on this. I would love to give this foundation five stars, however I do feel the colour selections lets it down, along with the fact the foundation oxidises meaning you have to be very careful when selecting a shade and am therefore awarding it four stars.
I love trying new brands of lipsticks so around a year or two ago when I started to invest in some more expensive, premium make up I decided to give MAC lipsticks a go after reading numerous positive reviews about them. Lipsticks are actually one of MAC's most popular make up products due to their colour payoff and longevity. Being an avid lipstick wearer, whether they be bright, bold shades or sheer nudes this seemed to be exactly what I needed in a lipstick. Although they were pricier than what I have spent on a lipstick in a past, I do believe that their quality surpass' the price and have so far been thoroughly impressed by the MAC lipstick range.
===~~Price, Availability and Packaging~~===
As previously mentioned, these are a little pricier than your average highstreet lipstick and retail at £14. Although at first I thought this was very expensive for a lipstick when comparing it to the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford lipsticks it actually seemed a very reasonable price for a premium brand lipstick. Sometimes the limited edition lipsticks are a little pricier, though this often only £1-£1.50 and often come in limited edition packaging. MAC also do a 'Viva Glam' lipstick range in which the full £14 cost of the lipstick goes to a charity to help men, women and children with HIV and Aids.
It is very difficult to find any MAC lipsticks (or MAC make up) at a discounted price, however Debenhams do often do an offer of 10% of beauty in which the MAC brand is included. You can pick up MAC lipsticks on the like of eBay for a little cheaper, however there are also many fakes or copies and therefore it is sometimes worth paying a little extra to ensure you have the genuine product.
MAC lipsticks are available from their online store and when over £30 is spent in one transaction you qualify for free delivery within the UK. MAC cosmetics are also available in the likes of Debenhams, John Lewis, House of Fraser and other large department stores. along with their online stores. If it is your first time ordering a MAC lipstick I would recommend going into a store as the swatches on websites are often very different to how the lipsticks appear in real life. If you are still unsure upon seeing them what colour will suit you there are often people on hand to help.
The MAC packaging is very simple, yet very effective. Like most MAC cosmetics they come in a black cardboard box. The lipstick itself is the shape of a bullet with a curved, tapered edge. The lid of the lipstick meets in the middle and the whole bottom twists in order to turn up/ down the lipstick. All MAC lipstick packaging is black in packaging (other than that of limited edition) yet is neither matte nor glossy. It seems to be semi-matte with a very, very slight glitter to it. Personally, despite the packaging being very simple I really like it as it is easily recognisable. One downside is that due to all the lipsticks having identical packaging it can be a little hard to find the shade you want to use as they all are labelled on the bottom and I have found this to sometime wear off after time.
MAC lipsticks have a really distinctive scent to them that I actually really like. It is a fairly sweet vanilla smell, that is not at all overpowering yet neither is it subtle. Due to it being vanilla scented those who do not like sweet smells or who are not keen on scented cosmetics may not like it, however you can only really smell it when you first open the lipstick and once applied the scent is almost non existent.
Perhaps one of the most important things to know about MAC lipsticks is the fact that they come in different finishes. This is important to know as this can dramatically change the way a shade will appear on the lips and therefore will not necessarily look the same way as it appears in the bullet. This means that it just as important to consider the finish as well as the colour you are after when buying a MAC lipstick. There are currently seven different finishes available; Amplified crème, Cremesheen, Lustre, Satin, Matte, Frost and Glaze.
===~~The Finishe's Colour Payoff and Longevity~~===
As stated there are seven different finishes and due to this it can change the way you may perceive a lipstick to look. Some of the finishes are fairly similar, yet some are dramatically different which will therefore very much effect the way they look on the lips.
Matte is perhaps one of my favourite finishes of lipsticks by MAC. This is finish is great for the bolder, darker colours yet at the same time can work equally as well with certain nudes and pinks. My favourite shade I have in this finish is that of 'Russian Red', this is a very true fairly deep, yet still bright red. To apply it feels very rich and creamy in texture and glides easily across the lips. It also does feel slightly thick in consistency which means that when applying it can feel a little heavy on the lips, though does not feel uncomfortable in any way. One thing I really like about the MAC MATTE lipsticks in particular is that of their pigmentation allowing them to be very opaque in colour even when applying them lightly and this is very true for that of the MAC Russian red colour. Despite it being a red I actually found it fairly easy to apply and was pleased to see that it did not bleed as I was applying it. Despite this I did find that if I made a mistake when applying it, it was fairly hard to remove from my skin and did leave a pale red stain which I needed to hide with concealer.
I love the finish of these lipsticks, they are indeed very matte on the lips which could give the illusion of the lips looking flat, yet due to the dark and bold colours it still gives the lips that 3D look. They are very pigmented and therefore a little goes a long way on the lips so I did not feel the need to go over lipstick due to it being very true to that of the bullet. Due to it being a matte lipstick, despite the fact it had a creamy texture when applying, I do find the matte lipsticks to be fairly drying on the lips. Nonetheless I didn't necessarily find this uncomfortable and tend to find it a trait with most matte lipsticks and therefore this didn't both me that much. The thing that really impresses about the matte range of lipsticks is that of the staying power. They last far longer on the lips than any other lipstick I have tried, whether it be matte or not. I was pleased to find that it didn't smudge or feather on the lips and lasted my pretty much all day even when eating, drinking, etc. If it did begin to fade at all it was only the very middle of the lips making it very easy to reapply if needed.
The Glaze finish is very different to the matte, yet is another of my favourites. These still have a very creamy formulation and therefore glide onto the lips from the bullet very easily, yet are far less heavy feeling on the lips. My favourite shade in this lipstick is that of 'Hue' a pale nude pink colour that is very easy to wear, though does suit that of pale to medium skin tones better. This lipstick feels very light to apply and actually has a balm like texture in that it feels very smooth and silky on the lips. Despite this lipstick being a sheerer finish that that of the previous, I again found it to be very pigmented meaning again a little went a far way.
The finish of this lipstick is far less bold than the previous and instead is a very soft finish, in particular the pale pink finish of Hue has a rather delicate finish to it. This finish reflects the light and has a balm to gloss like finish to the colour. Due to this it is very comfortable to wear throughout the day and although it does give the illusion of being moisturising on the lips it does not actually nourish the lips in anyway. Due to the finish this does not last as long on the lips and does need to be reapplied every 3-4 hours, though what I really liked about this lipstick is despite the colour I chose being very pale it still left my lips with a pretty pink stain on my lips so there was still something there in between applications.
This is another finish by MAC. The thing I like about this finish is the formulation with this finish works great with all shades lipstick, whether they be pale or brighter and bolder. Like the name suggests this is really creamy in formulation and therefore applies very smoothly to the lips. A colour that I really like in this finish is that of 'Lickable' a really bright, blue toned pink colour. This lipstick does feel a little heavier when applying to the lips than that of a glaze finish, yet is nowhere near as heavy as that of a matte finish. I was again pleasantly surprised with the pigmentation to this lipstick and again I only needed a little to cover my lips. It is much more opaque than that of a glaze finish and therefore the pink colour was extremely bold and true to the bullet.
This lipstick lasted far longer on my lips than that of the glaze, yet was not quite as long lasting as that of the matte finish. This lipstick sat very comfortably on my lips and the creamy texture meant that it was not at all drying and despite the fact the formulation was a little thick it did not at all feel heavy on my lips. I do feel the need to reapply this lipstick in the day, though only once or twice as it still lasted very well. I particularly like the colour Cremesheen due to the fact it is a blue toned pink and the blue tones in it do make the teeth a little whiter. It is a lovely rich, bright pink colour that is neither your Barbie pink nor your neon pink so is a really nice and different way to wear a bright pop if pink on the lips. This colour can leave your lips with a pink stain, though does not smudge or feather so does not bother me.
As the name suggests this finish does have a sheen to it, which really gives the lips a bigger, 3D appearance. The sheen is nowhere near as intense of that of a lip gloss, yet does not have that sometimes greasy appearance of a lip balm and is somewhat of a subtle in between.
This finish is not one I particularly like the whole collection of and find some of them hard to wear yet the lipsticks I do own from this collection I really like. To me, this finish is fairly similar to that of the glaze finish, yet as the name suggests is slightly more 'frosty' on the lips. By this I mean it looks slightly icier on the lips and can look quite cold, which is why I sometimes find this particular finish hard to wear. Other than that I find it very similar to that of a glaze finish in both opacity, pigmentation and lasting power although I do find it to feel slightly thicker/creamier, yet still comfortable on the lips.
One shade that I like in this is that of 'Angel' which is a soft, nude pink. It is very much a muted pink colour yet is much more pinker than the colour 'Hue' in the glaze finish. The frost finish on this lipstick I personally do not find too noticeable, though does have a slight sparkly balm like finish to it.
Despite the fact I only own one Satin finish lipstick I also really like this finish. These are incredibly smooth and silky to apply and glide really easily across the lips. It has a really creamy formulation when applying to the lips, yet unlike that of a cremesheen and matte finish it is also really light on the lips and does not feel much heavier than a balm.
Despite the fact it is incredibly light and comfortable to wear on the lips it is also very pigmented and opaque; however it can be easily blended into the lips to achieve a much sheerer look. I have the Viva Glam Nicki lipstick in the satin finish which is a very bright, neon pink colour. This colour is a little hard to wear, yet looks great with a tan and due to the fact it is very opaque and has a great colour payoff means that it does not need reapplying too often. I still do feel the need to reapply this, though far fewer times than that of a glaze or frost finish.
I am personally not really a fan of this lipstick, mainly due to the fact I am not too keen on the colours available and also find it very hard to wear. I personally find this lipstick very similar to that of the Frost, even more so than that of the Glaze. I find it to have a slightly frostier finish, which is why I find it quite hard to wear, especially due to the fact many of the shades are fairly cool toned. Nonetheless many of my friends suit the Lustre finish very well so I do think it depends on your skin tone and they so suit much better in the summer months.
One colour, however, that I would recommend as it suits almost all skin tones is that of Plink! It is a warm, yet fairly pale pink colour yet is not too pale so that it won't suit darker skin tones. I do find that this lipstick does need fairly frequent upkeep and I do find the need to reapply it 3 or 4 times throughout the day.
This finish is great for those who like really powerful, bright, bold pops of colour yet do not necessarily want them to be matte. These are really creamy to apply, yet at the same time have a very slight almost 'stickiness' to them. This does not at all feel uncomfortable on the lips and neither is it that same gloopy stickiness that some lip glosses have. As you would expect by the name of this finish these lipsticks are indeed very pigmented and the colour is very 'amplified' hence adding to the bold colours. Despite being very pigmented, they can sometimes be ever so slightly sheer when first applied but takes very little to build up to its full opaque colour. I really like this about the lipsticks due to the fact that the colour are quite bold and bright it sometimes nice to apply them a little sheerly during the day time and then build them up a little more the night time.
This formula also lasts really well on the lips, almost equally as long as the matte lipsticks, though they do begin to fade whereas the matte lipsticks don't. This means that they do leave a stain on the lips, though I actually like this as it means there is no need to reapply the lipstick straight away.
===~~Shades/ Colour Range~~===
MAC definitely have one of the biggest colour ranges for lipsticks that I have ever seen and there is definitely a shade available to suit anybody and everybody! Whether it be a beige toned nude, soft pink, vibrant red or a tangerine orange MAC really do cover it all and with the different finishes to choose from it means it is easier to identify a sheer soft pink to that of a matte soft pink. I really cannot fault the colour range, the only downside to it is that there are so many to look at it means that I spend ages at the make up counter looking through them all!
Overall I really love MAC lipsticks and they are by far the best range, as a whole, that I have used. Although I will and have continued to buy lipsticks from other brands, whether they be high street or premium, MAC will continue to be my firm favourite. I love the fact that many of the formulations require very little upkeep which means a lack of reapplication. Although they are on a pricier side, I thoroughly believe that this price is justified in the quality of the product, I often find it hard to find a lipstick that have both good colour payoff and longevity and MAC far surpasses any expectations I had for these two.
MAC also offer a Back to MAC service in which when you take back 6 empties (not all MAC products are included in this offer, but empty lipsticks can be taken back) you can receive a free lipstick of eye shadow which I really like as no other brands I know offer this.
With everything considered there is no doubt as to whether I would recommend these lipsticks as they are definitely the best lipsticks I have ever tried, at £14 they are something I like to treat myself to every now and then and also make great gifts for any make up fanatics and am therefore awarding these lipsticks the five stars they are very much worth of!
I love trying new releases of nail varnishes by different brands, so when Rimmel released their new Precious Stone Collection I just had to try it; although I am not sure whether I would call a collection as such as at the time of purchase there were only two colour options available in diamond dust and ruby crush. It is described as a full coverage glitter nail polish, rather than a top coat style which you would apply over the top of the nail varnish, I really liked this idea as often with other brands I have to apply around 4 coats of glitter nail varnish in order to achieve a full, opaque glitter look. I opted for the colour Ruby Crush as I purchased it around Christmas time and it seemed perfect for that rich, yet vibrant red colour.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
The nail varnishes cost £3.99, which I find to be very reasonable. It is a little more expensive than some of the basic Rimmel nail varnish, though I still feel it is a very good price for a full coverage glitter nail varnish. Rimmel products are also often on 3 for 2 or have a pound or two off, so it is also very unlikely that you'd have to pay full price for this item.
Alike most Rimmel products this is available in both Boots and Superdrug along with some of the larger supermarket stores such as that of Asda and Sainsburys. Rimmel products are also available widely online from many different retailers along with the likes of Amazon and eBay.
===~~Applying the Nail Varnish~~===
The first thing I noticed when applying this nail varnish was the very wide brush, which had a rounded tip. I really liked the shape of the brush as the curved edge meant it was easy to get a smooth and even shape towards the nail bed area and the wide brush meant it was very easy to cover the whole nail. In three strokes of this nail varnish my nail was covered very evenly. To apply is in fact very smooth, although it does feel a little thick. The glitter does not drag on the nail and neither does it clump up the brush and actually transfers from the brush to the nail very well. I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how opaque this nail varnish was with just one coat and did not have to dip the brush again into the bottle per nail which I do sometimes have to do with other brands. The glitter was not at all sparse and the combination of both larger and small pieces of glitter allowed the nail more coverage.
In between applying the coats of nail varnish it was very quick to dry and was actually touch dry in 2-3 minutes which is probably due to the fact that the majority of this nail varnish is made up of glitter. Due to this I found the nail varnish did not smudge as much as other nail varnishes and even if I did, it was very easy to correct due to it being a glitter nail polish. Applying the second coat was just as easy and again did not drag or feel to lumpy on the nail despite having already applied a coat of glitter. Again this coat was just as opaque as the previous achieving a look on the nails that was very true to that of the bottle.
I was very impressed with the results from this nail varnish. I very much believe this is a full coverage glitter nail varnish, as stated, rather than that of a top coat. The glitter was not at all sparse and instead covered my whole nail and I could not see any of my natural nail coming through. I really liked the contrast of the red coloured glitter with the grey/ silver coloured glitter as it gave the nail a slightly 3D look and actually made the nail look even more shiny. Despite this nail varnish being extremely shiny when the glitter catches the light, I would not say it actually has a shine or glossy finish and actually believe it to be fairly matte and therefore did feel the need to add a topcoat. Due to the slightly thick, almost gloopy consistency of this nail varnish it did mean that the nail varnish did look a little thick on the nail; yet did not look at all messy and actually had the appearance of gel nails. I also felt the need to add a topcoat as although the nail varnish appeared to look very smooth on the nail, when I ran my finger across it I actually found it be quite uneven and rough feeling due to the glitter.
Although I was really pleased with the results of this nail varnish, unfortunately I was very disappointed with the lasting power. I personally found that this nail varnish chipped terribly and after a few hours of wear almost all my nails were chipped and some of the nail varnish had peeled off the nail completely. This was despite the fact I had applied both a base coat and topcoat to prolong lasting power; once dried the nail varnish seemed to have this flaky, dry texture which seemed to allow it to chip very easily. This meant that I could only really wear this nail varnish if I was going out of an evening and applied it an hour or two before I left otherwise I found that it just wouldn't last of my nails.
Due to this being a glitter nail varnish I also found it extremely difficult to remove, although this is something I do find with most glitter nail varnishes. When using a cotton pad to remove the nail varnish I did tend to find that bits of fluff were becoming stuck to the glitter on the nail rather than actually removing it and it actually took me just over half an hour to remove this nail varnish where it normally takes me between 5-10 minutes. Therefore it actually seemed quicker and easier to allow the nail varnish to chip itself off then actually go through removing it! Despite it being a red colour nail varnish, due to it being a glitter formulation meant that it did not stain my nails, even when I didn't wear a base coat, though I would strongly recommend this to try and prolong the wear of this nail varnish as much as possible! Yet another thing that disappointed me about this nail varnish was that of how quick it dried out in the bottle. After just a month this nail varnish had completely dried up in the bottle with all the glitter having become clumped around and stuck to the brush.
Unfortunately despite the fact I loved both the opacity and the effect this nail varnish, I was left very disappointed. I am normally a fan of Rimmel products, however, other than the fact it requires just 1-2 coats to get a full coverage from a glitter nail varnish I am struggling to think of any other good points about this nail varnish. Although this was a nice nail varnish to wear of an evening out, I did find by the end of the night it did begin to show signs wear and began to chip and therefore do not feel I can really recommend this nail varnish. Although this nail varnish is not the worst I have ever used, it is still up there with some of the other extremely bad ones and am therefore awarding it just two stars; for the opacity and reasonable price- even then I feel I am being a little generous!
I am a huge fan of the Barry M Nail Varnishes and have tried almost every new effect that they have released. The most recent one that I have tried, although it has been out a while is that of the 'Gelly Hi Shine' range. The Barry M website describes them as a gel effect nail polish that provides an extra glossy finish which is exactly what I was after as I am a fan of the Jessica Geleration which is a similar idea, however this is far more expensive.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
I personally find these Nail Varnishes to be very affordable, they are priced at £3.99 which is just £1 more than the 'normal' range of nail varnishes from Barry M. I do also often find Barry M Nail Varnishes to be on offer such as buy 2 get one free or currently in Boots when you buy two 'Gelly' nail varnishes you save £1, which again makes them more affordable.
Like most Barry M products they are available from both from Boots and Superdrug along with their online stores. You can also order from the Barry M website, though in the past I have had a few issues with the wrong products being sent and the delivery time. Other stockists that have a more limited range include that of ASOS and Missguided and some pharmacies.
===~~Applying the Nail Varnish~~===
I did not find that this applied much differently from any other 'normal' nail varnishes I have used; whether they be from the Barry M range or not. It had a similar scent to all the others which is not at all overpowering, but is yet quite a strong 'chemical' smell which can sometimes linger if I don't have my windows open. The nail varnish did not seem thick or gloopy; which I had actually expected in order for it to create a more gel like finish. The brush for this nail varnish is the same as all the other brushes for Barry M nail points, being fairly narrow with a straight tip, yet large enough to coat the nail evenly with 3 strokes. I found the texture of this nail varnish to be extremely smooth, more so than others I have used in the past and was almost silky. I found that 3 strokes coated my nails perfectly and was very pleased to find that there were no brush stokes / lines left in the nail varnish - great for the gel effect! This nail varnish is really quick drying as I am often too impatient to wait for my nails to dry, so this was another advantage of this particular nail varnish. I was also really pleasantly surprised at how opaque these nail varnishes were with just one coat; if I was in a rush or wanted to paint them quickly I would have been more than happy with just the one coat applied. Although I was really pleased with this nail varnish after just the one coat, I decided to go ahead and paint on another coat as I did not believe the gel nail effect was achieved with just the one coat.
Although I did really like the results of this nail varnish, I was still disappointed to find it was not at all like a gel nail varnish in that neither did it feel, look or last like one. The things I did like about this nail varnish was firstly its opaqueness. I purchased this in two colours (lychee and plum) one of them being a very pale nude/ stone colour and often with these colours of nail varnishes I find their pigmentation to be not too great, yet after just one coat of this nail varnish I was very happy. The other colour, plum, faired equally as well in terms of opaqueness and after just two coats was true to that of the colour in the bottle. I also loved the shine this nail varnish had to it and would indeed describe it as being 'Hi Shine'. It reflected both natural and artificial light really well which gave it this almost 3D shine effect. Due to the glossy finish of this nail varnish I did not feel the need to add a topcoat and I was pleased to find that it maintained this shine for 3-4 days. The fact that there were no brush stokes left in the nail varnish meant that it both looked and felt very smooth on the nail which gave it that slight gel nail finish. I again really liked this as it meant there was no need to add a topcoat to any uneven strokes and the smooth effect also added to the shine of the varnish.
Despite this, I did not feel that is resembled a gel varnish in the way I had hoped it to. I personally would have liked the nail varnish to be a little thicker (as gel nails are fairly thick) as this would have allowed the nail varnish to both be more durable and increase the lasting time on the nails. I have tried applying a few coats of this nail varnish to apply a slightly thicker look, however often find this looks gloopy and messy on the nails, not to mention it takes forever to dry! I also would have expected this nail varnish to last a little longer than it did do, although the shine lasted longer than any other nail varnish I have tried they still chipped at around day 4. Although I wouldn't really call it chipping, it was more so as if the nail varnish was peeling off.
I do find that these nail varnishes stain my nails, especially that of the deeper, darker plum colour therefore I would definitely recommend wearing a bottom coat underneath. This did not really bother me as I find that most of my nail varnishes stain my nails a little and as I always wear nail varnish it is nothing I really notice. It is fairly easy to remove, though I do find it becomes a thick, gloopy like consistency when trying to remove meaning that it can be a little harder to remove than other nail varnishes. Though due to the fact it tends to peel rather than chip I do tend to find myself peeling it off rather than using nail varnish remover as it is a lot less messy!
Overall I did really like the hi shine finish of this nail varnish and although it did still chip/ peel it did last longer on my nails than others I have used in the past meaning that I do favour it over those. Had it not claimed to be a gel effect polish I think I would have really liked this due to the stroke free, opaque glossy finish, however due to the claim I was expecting a little more and therefore felt a little at a loss. Nonetheless as an everyday nail varnish I still really like it and actually prefer it to that of the likes of OPI and china glaze and its price is much more reasonable. Due to this I feel it still deserves 4 stars as it is a really great nail varnish, but does not work a 'gel effect'!
I am a big fan of MAC cosmetics and although I will admit I have not liked every product I have tried, as a majority I love the brand. The latest thing I have tried from this brand is MAC Fix + which is described as an aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals that adds radiance and finishes make up. It comes in a transparent plastic tube with a black spray top - it does differ slightly from the photo shown above. It also has a lock system to it, which means that when twisted it cannot be sprayed down which also makes this item great for travel. I mainly purchased this due to the fact it was a setting spray in the hope it would prolong the lasting time of my make up as I do find that towards the end of the day it can often wear off.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
This item comes in two sizes, the 'normal' size at 100ml and the travel size at 30ml. The larger size costs £13.50 and the travel size is priced at £7.50, so although it does work out much cheaper to buy the larger size, I decided to purchase the travel size due to it being my first time trying this and was yet unaware as to whether I like it.
MAC cosmetics are available from their website and are also available in selected larger department stores such as that of Debenhams, House of Fraser, etc. I often tend to buy mine online or instore at Debenhams as there I both collect beauty card points and they also often have 10% off.
===~~Using Mac Fix +===
There are many different ways in which Mac fix + can be use, it can be used as a refreshing spritz throughout the day, can be applied both after and before makeup to prolong the lasting power of make up or even as a toner after you have cleansed your skin. I have used Mac Fix + in a few different ways not, yet I am still as yet not all convinced by this product as a setting spray. I do think that this spray is slightly scented, but it is a really light refreshing scent which is not at all heavy and it not really apparent once the spray has soaked into the skin.
After having applied my make up and powdered I have sprayed on Fix +, the first thing I noticed was that it left very large water droplets on my face and was not the fine mist I had expected. I have tried spraying it further away, yet I have found this product to have the same very damp effect on my face. Nonetheless I do find this to very refreshing and feels very cooling as it soaks into the skin. I was pleased to find that it did not leave any patches where the larger water droplets had been and instead my makeup still looked very smooth. I actually really liked the effect that MAC Fix + had on my make up when applied this way, instead of my skin looking powdering and matte is added a slight dewiness to my skin, without adding shine. It was as if the Fix + had blended the powder into my foundation and despite my skin now looking far healthier and dewy is still allowed a semi matte finish. Nonetheless, I did find that this spray did not really help my make up to set in place and didn't really prolong the time it lasted on my skin which I found a little disappointing as this meant it did not really work as a setting spray.
I have also applied this after moisturising before applying my make up and have found the results to be fairly similar. I did notice that my make up was a lot easier to apply, which is probably due to the fact that my skin was very well moisturised with the added Fix +. It also helped with any redness I had, which also allowed the foundation to create a really flawless finish. It allowed me to blend the foundation into my skin with added ease and also gave my foundation a slightly more glowy / dewy finish however once powdered this wasn't really apparent. Again, I unfortunately found that this product didn't really work as a setting spray and my make up seemed to show the same signs of wear as it does on a daily basis.
The final way I have used this spray is throughout the day in order to refresh/ revitalise my skin. I have done this both whilst wearing make up and with no make up on. When wearing make up I tend to spray this and then rebuff my foundation into my skin with a brush. I really like this product when I apply it in this way as it makes my make up look freshly applied and less 'tired' yet does not make it seem cakey due to the fact that I am not actually adding anymore make up. I have fairly dry to skin so although I moisturise both morning and night I often find that my skin can still feel a little dull throughout the day, especially when wearing no make up; this spray really helps to counteract this and really revitalises my skin. Although I would not say it moisturises as such, it definitely refreshes and leaves skin with a cool, soothing sensation. I also find when applying it to skin alone and not over make up it also helps with any redness I may have which may be due to the skin calming ingredients such as green tea, chamomile and cucumber.
Overall, I do like this product although it is not one that I am in love with and could easily go without using it on a daily basis. I do however really like the dewy finish it gives my skin when applied over make up, I find it makes my skin look far healthier and makes any make up I am wearing look less heavy on the skin. Unfortunately I have found that this does not really prolong my make up and for that reason does not work as a setting spray, which did disappoint me as is was one of the main reasons I purchased this product. I would still recommend this to anyone who is after a dewy finish for their make up yet still have a semi matte finish. It also great for anyone who suffers with dry or dull looking skin who is looking for a quick and effective way to freshen up their skin. I have had this item in the smaller size of 30ml for around 4 months and use it around 3 times a week and as of yet have not even used a quarter so I can see it lasting a long time, making the spray seem a little more economical. Although it does not set my make up, it does give my skin a really lovely finish and for this reason I believe it still deserves three stars.
I tend to go through mascaras very quickly, especially as I normally opt for those of highstreet brands so tend to find they dry up fairly quickly so whenever my birthday or Christmas approaches I always put higher end mascaras on my wishlist. One of those this year was the YSL shocking mascara, I had heard plenty of positive things about this mascara so was very excited to both receive and try this mascara out.
===~~Price and Availability~~===
This item is fairly expensive, as with most YSL make up items. This mascara costs around £23 which to me seems a little excessive and is something as more of a treat compared to the cost if my usual mascara. Nonetheless the previous reviews I had read on this mascara suggested that this mascara was very much worth it's price tag so my expectations for this mascara were very high.
Like most YSL make up items this is available from large department stores such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis - where you can also order online. YSL make up products are also available in certain larger Boots stores, I often tend to buy most of my make up items from either Debenhams or Boots as then I can collect points and often these two stores have offers on.
I could not write a review on this product without mentioning the packaging, alike all YSL packaging this mascara manages to look both classy and pretty at the same time in my make up bag. It's in gold metal packaging, which despite the fact it looks heavier due to it being metal it actually does not add any extra weight to my make up bag than any other plastic mascara would. The gold is not too bright or 'fake' looking and actually has some rose gold tones to in which makes it look yet more sophisticated. Apart from 'YSL' embossed on the tube the only other writing on this is 'shocking' in black font which I actually like and it does not make the tube look any less pretty.
===~~~The brush/ wand~~===
The brush itself is one of the soft bristle type brushes and is not plastic; I personally don't have a preference over the style or brushes however am aware some people prefer this style to that of a plastic one. The bristles are fairly evenly spaced, yet are very tightly compacted meaning that I find the brush collects a lot of mascara and all of the bristles of the wand are coated. Though I did find that in the first couple of applications the brush did pick up a little too much mascara, though I think this is mainly due to the fact it was new and I was still working out the best way to use it.
===~~Applying the mascara~~===
The first thing I noticed when applying this mascara was weirdly the scent. I tend to find most mascaras to have that 'mascara smell' and all smell very similar, but this mascara smells very fresh, almost fruity but not sweet at all. It is a lovely pleasant smell, though can only be smelt when you first begin to apply the mascara/ open the tube. This mascara does have quite a thick consistency to it, yet is not at all gloopy so actually glides onto the lashes very easily. Due to the size of the brush (basic size mascara brush, neither larger nor small) I found it the perfect size for capturing almost all my lashes, apart from the very inner corner ones but I find these are hard to reach with many mascara brushes. The brush seemed to pick up just the right amount of mascara in order to coat my lashes evenly which added but separation and definition to them without them looking clumpy or spidery.
This mascara also applied just as well onto my bottom lashes and managed to capture the individual lashes just as well. Although I did find that sometimes the bristles picked up a little too much mascara for my bottom lashes, so I did have to wipe a little of the mascara off, nonetheless this was not a problem.
I was very impressed with the results of this mascara and would even go as far as saying I believe it to be one of the best mascaras I have ever used. The mascara has a very rich deep black pigmentation to it which I really like and it also had a glossy finish to it which made the lashes look really healthy and helped to make my eyes look more awake. This mascara had added considerable length to my lashes; hence the name vollume effet faux cils shocking. I have preciously used their normal 'effect faux cils' mascara and although I liked it I wasn't overly impressed with it, however this is definitely not the case with this one as it goes above and beyond my expectations. It also added volume and 'fullness' to my lashes, yet at the same time keeping them separated and defined which helped to achieve that look of false lashes. Due to this it allows my eyes to look really open and 'pop', especially due to the fact the mascara is very black in comparison with my eye colour.
I also found that this mascara stayed in place all day and neither did it begin to look flakey or dry throughout the day. Although it is not claimed to be a waterproof mascaras have been in very windy conditions with this mascara on which makes my eyes water, along with that of snow and neither weather condition has this mascara become smudged or flakey around my eyes which pleasantly surprised me. I have worn this mascara all day and then through onto a nights before without feeling the need to reapply due to its staying power and the fact that I do not find the need to add false lashes with this mascara. Despite it staying power, I find this mascara is very easy to remove and can do so with my normal cleanser and toner and have not found the need to use anything else such as eye make up remover pads. It also does not require and harsh scrubbing and actually comes off quite easier with my cleanser.
Overall I have been very thoroughly impressed with this mascara and despite its fairly hefty price tag of £23 I actually believe I would repurchase it. Although I am not sure whether it is the equivalent to that of false lashes, it is definitely a more natural looking equivalent and I now happily go out with just this on on a night out whereas before I was a complete fake eyelash junkie! The only slightly disappointing about this mascara is that I do find it gets both used up and dries up quite quickly, which is something I tend not to have a problem with with other higher brand mascaras. I can only see this mascara lasting me around 3-4 months maximum, whereas I find many other to last a good six. Nonetheless I was still recommend this mascara for those who are after a longer, fuller yet defined lash - which is what most of us want!! Despite the fact it is on the pricey side and I can only see it lasting a short period I feel what this mascara achieves far outward that and for that reason I am awarding it 5 stars!
Once again my apologies as have to send laptop BACK AGAIN for repair, but as soon as I have it back will edit all my latest reviews and amend spelling, punctuation, grammar etc!!xxx