Cosmetic Collection | Nars

4/30/2012 03:16:00 am

Having a bit of a Nars love affair <3
I have just sold my Nars Sheer Matte because it just didn't compare to my trusty Sheer Glow - it was heavy and cakey and just not my cuppa tea!
So, what we have here is:
1 - Nars Blush/Bronze trio: Orgasm Blush, Albatross Highlighter and Laguna Bronzer.  Love this.  Need to use it more often, sometimes I just forget I have it =O.  Its your whole face (minus base) in one little zippy-uppy compact WITH a mirror - just add a brush!
2 - My trusty Sheer Glow in Stromboli.  Ultimate love.  Ultimate, ultimate love!  I love it!  Its not sheer, but not heavy at all.  And its not particularly glowy, but just more a natural, healthy looking foundation.  It melts into the skin in such a lovely way.  I find the best way is to apply a light layer with my fingers, really trying to work it into the skin, then take some more and use my beauty blender to get an airbrush finish.  I do have oily skin so I always powder!
3 - Nars Night Series Eyeshadow palette.  Lovely, buttery shadows, all with shimmer.  I love layering this over my Blackground paint pot, to give a darker blackened effect to all the colours!
4 - Lipgloss in Turkish Delight.  Purchased on ASOS in the sale.  Unashamedly bought this because I heaard old Kimmy K loved it.  I do love it!  Its milky and needs to be smooshed into your lips.  So lovely.
Love A.x 

Foundation Station | Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Mosturiser

4/29/2012 09:00:00 am
Tinted moisturisers.  Weird concept, no?  I find them weird.  They sound like they don't have a lot of coverage.  And they sound like they moisturise.  Regarding the point of coverage, it varies from tinted moisturiser to tinted moisturiser.  Regarding the moisturising, they generally categorically do not moisturise.  You do need moisturiser underneath.  Weird but true.  So I have been after a couple of lighter-weight foundations.  I still am seriously craving for Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B40, but funds are ridiculously low.  I then really fancied the oil-free Laura Mercier Tinted moisturiser.   
As usual, I popped in for a sample, and the snotty young lady at the counter would not listen to me, and matched me too dark.  Cue me going back a few weeks later saying 'you matched me too dark.' Incidentally she also put loose powder on me using a powder puff that looked like it had seen better days.  Plus she wasn't really looking at me, she was looking at the mirror behind me.  The entire time.  Not a fan.  Anyways, back to the actual tinted moisturiser.  
I love it.  It's thicker that I thought, with pretty good, probably medium natural coverage, and I love to use it with a little concealer and a sprinkling of loose powder over the top.  Wear time is a couple of hours - expected from a tinted moisturiser, after all it isn't a foundation!  The colour I am matched to is Almond, which I do find a little dark, but I do have my Barry M White foundation now, so it doesn't even matter.  Plus, I found it on eBay for £6 - I wasn't really going to say no was I when it RRPs at around £30?  Lovely for popping out all over the place, but I wouldn't use it of a night.  Lovely for day though.
Love A.x

Skincare | Bioderma

4/28/2012 09:00:00 am
I did something I regret.  I ordered the teeny 100ml.  Aaaaaaaaah now that I've used it I wish I'd got the big fat 500ml.  Oh well, I have ridiculously sensitive eyes, and better to be safe than sorry.  Plus I can top up the 100ml bottle for carrying around.  The product itself?  Oh so lovely!  I had been resisting for while, mainly because my Simple eye make up remover is the bomb.  Its gentle, its moisturising and it doesn't mess with my eyes or contact lenses.  But it was finishing, and I am recently loving all things French in terms of skincare.  So I caved and bought it.
Basically, i did love it, it seemed soooooo easy to use, with a softness to it in terms of how it feels.  It seemed to shift the layers of eyeliner and mascara I sometimes wear, plus its lovely as a pre-cleanse on my face.  HOWEVER then disaster struck the third time I used it, I think a drop got in my eye and oh my God I've never felt such pain.  Literally felt like I was being blinded to the point where I had to take out my contact lens and rinse rinse rinse out my eye.  The whole night was then spent with glasses on - very rare - and then I went to sleep early because the pain just would not subside.  
HOWEVER I then chose to re-try it, and so far, so good.  It's lovely, but I generally only use it for my eyes.  I don't like not washing my face properly! Buuuuuuuuut the Bioderma does make a great pre-cleanse and lazy cleanse on my skin.  I realllly want to repurchase the biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig bottle but we'll see how mu funds are!
On a side note, I wish someone would open some French pharmacies here, my skincare bill is ridiculous!
Love A.x

Thing of the Week 7 | Sneak Peek! | One make up drawer

4/27/2012 04:28:00 pm
I keep my palettes and bits and bobs in this drawer..will start to review them one by one!
Love A.x

New shooooooooooooooooooooes...

4/26/2012 03:00:00 pm
Shoes are my thing.  I love them.  Been a heels girl since 16, wore them to school every day.  But this disgusting winter stopped me from wearing my heels.  So my other option is completely flat.  But either way I love them pointy only.  Or peep toe.  No space for round toes with me.
2 of my latest pairs:
Beautiful River Island flats £22
Love A.x

Hoarding! | Foundation Sample windowsill

4/26/2012 09:00:00 am
No words.
Its an obsession
And that's not all my samples.
Love A.x

Foundation Station | Sample | Shu Uemura

4/26/2012 09:00:00 am
At House of Fraser the other day, I wandered across a Shu Uemura counter - I've never really seen one before  but OMG I now LOVE this brand.  The make-up artist, a lovely man named Angel colour matched me using my chest!  He saw the Dior on my face and instantly said it was too dark, which I know, but make up artists love to match Asian girls too dark (they always ask me sooooooo do you want your foundation to be lighter than your skin or darker?  Ummmmm how about the actual colour of my skin?!).  
The colour he chose for me was amaze balls, and the formula is just to die for.  From the sample, I used the normal amount I would use for any other foundation, and found it was far too much.  I literally used a third of my normal amount.  And the coverage - OMG it almost did the full work of concealer and foundation with that tiny, tiny amount.  It feels soft on the skin, like you're not wearing a foundation.  The consistency is thin, but had a kind of stiffness to it, which makes you feel it's not just going to fall off your face!
It looks natural yet ridiculously polished, and lasted me around 6 hours before signs of wear and tear.  I want this foundation.  So much.  But finances are strained atm.  But believe you me, as soon as I can, I will be buying this!  I think Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua has just moved down on my 'to buy' list!  Plus, I don't know what shade he gave me!=o.

Love A.x

Cleansing Oil | Shu Uemura

4/25/2012 08:56:00 pm
As you may know, I love a bit of an oily cleanser.  Like attracts like, so oil picks up oils and dirt.  My beloved Boots Botanics Cleansing balm died about 2 months ago, and I am sooooooooooooo angry that my local Boots, as well as others I have been to, have not restocked.  The staff can't even come up with an answer as to why.  Big fat grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  I have been using the Coconut Oil that was featured in my March faves, BUT it is not specific to the face, and as my skin is playing up, I need a face-specific product.  Now, hopefully soon you'll get to read my Shu Uemura foundation review but atm the sample is MIA so I can't get any pics for uuuuu.  So just so you know,I went to Shu Uemura in House of Fraser and the lovely Angel gave me a sachet of their Brightening Cleansing Oil when I asked about it, and then decided to give me a lovely mini (20ml) bottle of it.  
And I think I may have found my Holy Grail Cleanser.  I have so far used my little bottle about twenty times, and you I've hardly used any of it up!  The oil itself is slippery but not greasy, and I looooooooooooove massaging it into my face.  
You're supposed to apply, massage, add water to emulsify, massage, and rinse off.  
I have done this routine a couple of times, and it is just so lovely, and relaxing.  Sometimes after the emulsification I used my trusty Clari (who I have been neglecting of late) to really work the product in and give myself a deeeeeeeeeeeep clean.  After rinsing off, my face is soft, smooth and bright.  Eurgh I cannot express how much I love it.  I am buying it.  Even with no money.  I will buy it! (maybe)!

Love A.x

Skincare | Lush Ultrabland

4/24/2012 09:00:00 am
I experiment a lot with Lush cleansers.  I find that each one is very good at it's specific job, for example Angels on Bare Faces is perfect for brightening the skin, Dark angels is good for purifying clogged skin, whilst also smoothing, and Aqua Marina was very good for oily skin.  I use these intermittently whenever I need an extra boost, and my sister uses Angels on Bare Faces - which is incredibly gentle and lavender-ish - every day.  As you may know, my beloved Boots Botanics Cleansing balm has been out of stock nearly 2 and a half months now, and the only thing that I found similar to it was the Shu Uemura Cleansing oil which I LOVE but simply can't afford atm.  I then remembered that Lush do two similar products that I used to use - Babyface, a solid balm that melts to an oil in your hands, and Ultrabland, which is like a melted, more creamy version of Babyface.  I picked up Babyface as it is more convenient, and because Babyface gets hugely grubby!  Basically, you massage a dollop of this on your dry face, and remove with a hot, wet flannel.  It gets rid of ridiculous amounts of grime, and leaves your face as soft as a baby's bum!  Also, as a tip for problematic skin, it says to use only this as your cleanser for a month to sort your skin out.  I love it!

Love A.x

Women I Love | 3

4/23/2012 09:00:00 am
Sophia Loren.
Old school Italian Beauty.  Womanly.  Confident.  Such feline eyes and THE most amazing bone structure. This woman still looks gorgeous.

Love A.x

Face of the Day | Black eyes and Minimal products

4/22/2012 09:00:00 am
So, to make up for the ridiculous amount of products featured on my face last time, here is a super simple face that I rather like, done super quickly at like 3am =o, and may now wear more often, albeit with a heavier base.  Dark, dark eyes with matching cheeks and lips.

Although you can't really tell, I have the same colour on lips and cheeks!
Mac Pressed Powder NC35, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Deep, Stila Convertible Colour in Lillium/Gerbera (used lillium on cheeks and lips), Mac Paint Pot in Blackground all over lid as base, Kiko Eyeshadows no  all over lid and no  as eyeliner , Clinique Mascara 

Tiny amount of products for me, I quite like it!
Love A.x

Skincare | Review | Vichy Normaderm

4/21/2012 09:00:00 am
Vichy is a brand I have been using for a little while now - at one point I was religiously using their foundation, which has increeeddddddddddddible coverage, but is slightly the wrong colour (might retry it now that I have the Barry M Foundation in white), and their setting powder which I use every day without fail and love ridiculous amounts.  Not really sure why I haven't done a review yet.  Hmmmm one to ponder.  Anyways, my La Roche Posay Effaclar M ran out, and I know it has a hugggggggge following amongst those of us with oily skin, but it just wasn't doing anything for me.  I know it was maybe a psychological thing - I knew the ingredients were purely to mattify, and I like my skincare to work double duty.  Plus it didn't reallly mattify me.  Weird.  So when it finished I picked up a moisturiser that I had been pondering for a while - the Vichy Normaderm.  
First off it smells like apples.  Green, green apples that I hate the taste of but love the smell of!  Wakes me up a little every morning=].  Secondly it contains one of my fave ingredients - Glycolic Acid, which is such a little power-worker.  It does so many amazing things, I just love it.  Plus the addition of Salicylic acid which is a wonder product for spot-prone skin, which, although mine isn't particularly bad, any appearance of a spot will cause a scar so I always try to be preventative.  The combination of these two products should eventually help with smoothness, texture, scarring, and a general overhaul of the old skin. 
I love the texture, its a bit weird, kind of thick but at the same time light and almost sorbet-like I suppose. One thing you need to watch out for is not to use too much, and to leave it to dry/sink in for a few mins before you layer anything else on top, otherwise it has a tendency to pill.  I've been using it for about a week now and already prefer it to the old Effaclar M. Definitely mattifies more, smells nicer, and creates a better overall canvas. 
Hope you found this helpful!
Love A.x 

Thing of the Week 6 | Lush Ocean Salt Face Scrub

4/20/2012 09:00:00 am
I have been enjoying Lush products in my skincare routine for years, and I loooooooove their cleansers.  I went in the other day to purchase a few bubble bars, and asked for a couple of samples, including this one, and the lovely lady gave me practically a whole tub!  Ocean Salt can be used as a face and body scrub, and smells all zingy and lemon and limey with some kind of herby hint.  Let me see what the website says:
We have taken lashings of fine sea salt to scrub and clean and mixed it with lots of great things that will moisturise and treat the skin.
For the zingy, astringent feeling we chop up organic limes and soak them in vodka overnight and then mix this with coarse sea salt and add fresh grapefruit infusion and lime essential oil.
This will give you a scrubby mix that is antiseptic, takes away dead skin and tightens the skin. But we also wanted to soften the skin and leave it moisturised and supple, so we also add avocado butter, extra virgin coconut oil, lanolin, seaweed absolute and violet leaf absolute.
This product was invented for Rowena, one of the Lush founders. She loves to have a product to scrub every part of her body and years of nagging for a face scrub finally drove Helen into her lab to come up with this.
Our Rowena is an exotic sort of person, so Helen made this to be like a slammer cocktail – invigorating, a bit naughty and has a bit of a kick.
 Basically its just ridiculously perfect for waking up your face in the mornings!  The salt itself is fairly coarse, but is encased in a creamy 'sauce' which makes your face both super clean and soft!  I love it, but beware, if you get it in your mouth it is SUPER salty! Defos will repurchase when I run out of my 'sample'!  Might even get the extra big size - its such a multi purpose product, you can use it on your body too!

Love A.x

Face of the Day | Featuring a RIDICULOUS amount of products

4/19/2012 09:00:00 am
Title says it all really!  Got a teeeeensy bit carried away with the products I used.  I do like the end result though!  Wanna see?  Here you goooo!

Prep - Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Clinique Dark Spot Corrector, Vichy Normaderm
Base - Benefit the Porefessional, Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser in Almond, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 54, L'oreal Lumi Magique Foundation in W3, Nars Sheer Glow in Stromboli, Mac Pressed Powder in NC35, Vichy Setting Powder 
Eyes: Soap and Glory It's About Primer, Mac Constructivist Paint Pot as Base, L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Endless Chocolate, HD Brows Palette in Vamp (warm brown and carbon used as liner), L'oreal Lumi Magique Concealer in Medium 
Lips: Rimmel Lip Liner in Snob, L'oreal Rouge Caresse in Nude Ingenue 
Cheeks: L'oreal Brunette Harmony as contour, Accessorize Baked Bronzer on cheeks, Benefit One Hot Minute as highlight 
Mascara: Clinique High Impact Mascara, Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express, Collection 2000 Big Fake
What a lot of products! Obviously having a weird day!
Love A.x

Prime Time! | Benefit the Porefessional

4/18/2012 09:00:00 am
I like this.  A lot.  I know recently I've been loving Philosophy's the Present, and I still do, but the Porefessional is somewhat different.  I actually wouldn't really place the two in the same category.  Maybe primers need to be further sub-divided.  Anyway, I digress.  The Porefessional was a snap decision.  I had almost run out of The Present, and wanted to make sure I had a primer for my recently uncooperative skin.  I bought Benefit Hello Flawless one day, tried the primer sample in it, and went out and bought it the next day.  Whilst the Present really aims to hold your make up on the skin for as long as possible, it seems the Porefessional wants to make your skin look good BEFORE you do your make up.  The actual product is a nude-brown colour, and works especiallly well on my NC37 skintone, to really even it out, and to disguise slightly my areas of hyperpigmentation.  Plus it hides the pores on my cheeks.  As far as texture goes, I don't really know how to describe it - I suppose its a kind of gel-cream hybrid that feels like soft, soft powder on the skin.  Plus, it extends the wear time of my foundation - I love it!
 In the below pics from a recent face of the day, I have used the porefessional under a thin layer of Bourjois Healthy Mix, I think you can really see how it makes for a flawless base!
 I really am a sucker for a flawless base - it can so often be the be all and end all of my day! Sad but true  One word of warning, make sure your moisturiser has had a little time to sink in, and then PAT the Porefessional onto the skin, as opposed to rubbing it!  This will create a smoother canvas, and avoid the pilling issue that happens when products are from different brands.
Love A.x

Foundation Station | Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!

4/17/2012 03:35:00 pm
Long name, right?  Cute though!  I had a Benefit phase about 3 years ago - You Rebel, That Gal and Thrrob.  I still LOVE and use Thrrob.  Anyways, this was a complete impulse buy.  My skin is being a weird colour atm, I would go as far as to say its on the pasty side, I defos need the sun back!  Basically its lost some of its healthy yellow-ness!  And, I actually like my yellow skin!  So I wanted a foundation that would healthy me up a bit, and after a brainwave, came up with this foundation, in one of my kinda-sleeping but kinda-not moments.  And the next day I went into Debenhams - the ladies there did not want to be helpful, and all I really got was a hmmm let me show you the colour on my hand and stripe your face with it.  Anyways, I figured out my colour, and then took my custom to Boots, where a lovely girl - probs a little younger than me - really helped me out, made sure the colour was a good match, even taking the time to actually FORCE me out of the shop into the natural daylight, where she brought a mirror so I could see the colour.  She was lovely!  So I purchased the foundation in Beige I'm All the Rage.  
LOL at the shade names.  I brought it home, and I must say, I really truly like it.  The blurb on the Benefit website says : "Hello…it’s flawless time! Our new oil-free brightening liquid foundation builds from light to medium coverage for a natural complexion you can believe in. It’s you…just more luminous & healthy looking." And I agree.  Completely.  It's a nice runny consistency, looks beautiful blended with fingers, brush or sponge, gives a medium coverage straight away, but is easily buildable.  It reminds me of my Dior Forever (which btw is going unloved atm as I'm finding it slightly heavy), but without the feel of make up.  By that I mean, when I wear Forever, I know it's going to last the day, and last flawlessly, but I feel it on my face.  I didn't realise I felt it on my face until I tried the Benefit.  Benefit is pretty flawless, but feels almost like nothing.   Someone has crafted this foundation beautifully.  
The colour I was matched to is a tad dark, so I'll probably purchase the Champagne shade - it leans very yellow!  In terms of finish, I find it is semi-matte.  It looks how good skin should look.  Healthy.  After a couple of hours, shine appears, and this is probably my only gripe.  It does however manage to look quite healthy with the shine, BUT I would prefer it to have better oil-controlling abilities.  I would probably re-powder at about 4-5 hours, and be happy with that.  What I love about this foundation is how easy it is to work with.  It will definitely be one that I grab when I have no time to get ready because once on the skin it sorts itself out into a flawless finish.  And, it will be one that I use when I have time to get ready because it's so lovely to play with.  I really quite love it.  I'm actually contemplating buying the matching powder when my Mac finishes, as the girl in the store applied this too, and it really did look extra, extra flawless.
As an aside, a Porefessional sample was included and OMG what a good marketing ploy.  A good product, included with your foundation, but only enough for one application.  I already want it after using the sample up.  It helps even and blur the skin before any foundation touches it.  It feels soft and silky as opposed to siliconey, and I'm just sad that I didn't order it whilst it was on BuyaPowa.  Damn me and my fickle ways.  (Update - by the time you read this, I have bought it!  Review to come!)
So, all in all, brilliant foundation - suitable for all skin types, good selection of colours that span from light to dark, lovely finish, needs powdering on oily girlies like me, plus a top up somewhere along the way, but soooooo easy and lovely to work with, and works really well with the Porefessional.
Phew!  Well done Benefit!
P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow for the Porefessional review!
Love A.x

Women I Love | 2

4/16/2012 09:00:00 am
Elizabeth Taylor.
A rare beauty.  Violet eyes.  Double set of eyelashes.  Some of the most beautiful jewels in the world.  Gorgeous.  And such a regal actress.

Love A.x