Tarte Cosmetics Newness

Tarte is a brand that is fast becoming a favourite of mine – the packaging is to die for, and the products are such great quality with amazing results. The latest batch of loveliness has just hit QVC UK – here are a few things that are on offer.

First up is the Amazonian Butter Lipstick Trio in the shades Guava, Lychee and Mulberry. Can we take a moment to appreciate the packaging please? Gorgeous cardboard casing with floral patterns all over them… swoon. Right, the lipsticks! As you may imagine, I don’t always bother reading boxes, I just want to get to the product, and that was the case here. My first thought as I tried these on my lips, was just how buttery they were, then I realised they were called Amazonian Butter lipsticks and that yes, they are infused with Amazonia cupaucu and murmuru butters. They are intensely moisturising and hydrating, and feel so comfortable to wear.

The three are sheer lipsticks, but with enough colour for it to be there, like an insanely pigmented balm. Guava is a reddy-coral with tinfy flecks of golden micro-glitter. You can’t see it on the lips, but it adds to the 3d-effect once it’s on. Lychee is my absolute favourite – a really easy to wear purpley nude, I just love it, and it will take pride of place in my handbag so I can wear it as much as possible! Mulberry is a deeper, rosy nude that will be great for autumn.

Next I tried the BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer. This is designed to be used either as a primer to other make up, or as a BB Cream on it’s own. It’s oil free which is a bonus for me, but doesn’t give me enough coverage to wear on it’s own – nor is it the kind of finish I like. It claims to be buildable – the top photo is my hand which one layer on, and some more squeezed on. The bottom photo shows my hand with 2 layer on. Although it doesn’t work for me as a BB Cream, I am really enjoying using it as a primer – it minimises the appearance of pores, and my foundation glides on top of it. It came with a stippling brush which I am absolutely in love with. The hairs are so short and firm that you can really work your foundation into your face. The bamboo handle and golden metal is a lovely touch too.

The other brush I have been trying is the Buffy Bamboo Face Powder Brush – another great quality brush, it feels so floppy and soft when you use it to apply powder to the face. It gives a nice even distribution of product so as not to look cakey. I have been using it with the Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder which is also amazing. It’s a white loose powder which is so finely milled that it creates a little dust cloud when you close the lid. It leaves your skin with an airbrushed finish, and controls shine without looking powdery. I have extremely oily skin, and my make up lasts a lot longer than usual since I’ve started using this.

So there’s my little round-up of Tarte newness. I urge you to go and try some of their stuff out, as you may have already guessed – I am loving it!

Illamasqua Glamore Nude

Following on from Illamasqua’s Glamore collection earlier this year, they have introduced 7 new nude lipsticks into the range. The formula is really hydrating, while giving a long-lasting, intense colour. They are so comfortable to wear, and leave a nice sheen to the lips without being too glossy.

The new lipsticks are Minx and Cherub in the Nude Coral section, Rosepout and Starkers in the Rosy section, and Tease, Naked and Buff are more Earthy Nudes. I was sent Minx and Starkers to try out – both of which are not colours I would have picked out myself…. I see myself as more of a Tease or Naked kind of girl – both which are pale and neutral(ish!) looking… how I tend to prefer my nudes. I was pleasantly surprised at how the two I was sent turned out!

Starkers is a true nude – leaning rather brownish on me with a hint of pink. Perfect for the 90s power-lip, or teamed with a smokey eye. A creamy toffee, honey shade.

Minx is so far away from anything I would ever choose for myself, but I know I will be wearing this one a lot! A pinky, rusty rose shade that is equally suitable for day or night.

Daniel Busuttil, the Head of Training at Illamasqua – recommends matching your lipstick to your natural nail bed colour, this way it will match the undertones of your skin. He says “If you have a cooler, rosy undertone to your skin, opt for a rosy nude. If your undertones are more golden an earthy nude is right for you. These colours will flatter your natural lip shade as well as your skin tone.”

Glamore Nude Lipsticks are available from 10th July from www.illamasqua.com and from 31st July at Illamasqua counters worldwide costing £18.50 each.

KIKO Christmas – Digital Emotion

KIKO have got some fantastic, and super-affordable gifts on offer for this Christmas in their new, limited edition Digital Emotion range – when I saw the prices I had to look twice! If you need impressive gifts for girls, have a look at these…

The packaging is a shiny iridescent cardboard which is really eye catching, but it’s what’s inside that really got me going!

The Satin Nail Laquer set opens like a book to reveal eight gorgeous, limited edition nail polishes. They are really intense, glossy colours with names that match the shades beautifully. The polishes look sleek and really expensive, and give the finish of an expensive polish, yet this set is only £19.90! That is just under £2.50 a polish – can’t really argue with that!

The colour range is really good – going from nudes with Rose Taupe to classic reds with True Red, and the crazy side with Light Tiffany. I think it’s a nice colour palette for anyone.

The smaller box in the first photo, opens to reveal 5 lipsticks…

Again, this is a really pretty colour palette for someone. Although the colours may look a little shocking in the bullet, they’re really wearable and less intense on the lip. They pack a lot of pigment, but go on like a balm to give a wet look finish. These are limited edition shades and contain SPF15. Guess how much!? £16.90!!!! Told you I couldn’t believe the prices!

There are loads of other sets on offer too. Check out www.kikocosmetics.com or KIKO Stores to shop, and see the rest of the range.

Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Collection

I am a bit of a browny, nudey, smokealicious fan – so when I saw the new Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate collection, I may have swooned just a little. Just how gorgeous!?

The initial item that stole my heart was the Rich Chocolate eye shadow palette (£39.50) – 7 varying chocolately brown shades housed in a slim brown mirrored palette, with a superb double ended eyeshadow and eyeliner brush included.

There are five matt shades, one Sparkle Eyeshadow and one Shimmer Wash. Bone is very light but great for creating a base or to add a little lighter tone to the inner corner of the eye. Stone, Frappe and Cocoa are gorgeous chocolate shades, with Rich Cocoa being perfect for the outer corner or a full on smokey eye. Caramel Sparkle adds definition to the eye, and Champagne Truffle is a truly beautiful gold. 

The Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Bittersweet (£20) is so deliciously creamy and easy to blend. It can be used to line the eyes then smudged out, all over for a smokey eye, or a base for other eyeshadows.

The lipsticks in the collection are Baby Pink and Berry (£19 each) – both gorgeous classic shades and perfect for this season. They compliment the brown eyeshadows perfectly and have a slightly orangey taste to them that takes me back to my childhood. I love the way that the lipsticks are shaped – making them super-easy to apply to your lips. 

The blush’s mirror the colours of the lipsticks. Pink Coral (£19) is a new shade which I am in love with! It’s such a flattering, universal shade. Berry (£19) is limited edition and really highly pigmented. Paler faces will only need a light dusting of this, and it will look beautiful on darker skin tones.

I also have the Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (£17.50) from the collection in Dark Chocolate Ink, which is a very dark brown and a nice alternative to black gel liner. It’s so dark it’s almost black, but takes some harshness away for a softer look. The Extreme Party Mascara (£19) in Black Chocolate, again is really dark but softer than wearing black – and a really pretty shade on the eyes.

I have created a couple of looks to show how soft or bold these new products can be, depending on the occasion or what floats your personal boat!

For the look I used Champagne Truffle Shimmer all over my lid taking it up to the crease. I added a little Bone to the inner third of my eye, then used Cocoa on a blending brush in the crease. To add a bit more dimension I added Caramel Sparkle to the middle of my eye. I used the Dark Chocolate Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and Black Chocolate Extreme Party Mascara to finish off the eyes. To complete the look I used Pink Coral blush on my cheeks and Bobbi Brown Baby Pink lipstick.

For this look I applied the Cream Shadow Stick in Bittersweet all over my lid, up to my crease, then blended the edges with a fluffy brush, then added some Frappe shadow at the edges to blend the colour out even more. I patted on some Caramel Sparkle to the lid, then using Rich Chocolate along the lash line with an eyeshadow brush to softly line the eyes. I also used the Cream Shadow Stick under my eyes and blended out, then finished with the Extreme Party Mascara. To complete the look I used a tiny bit of Berry blush (see what I mean about how pigmented it it!?) on my cheeks, and Berry lipstick on my lips.

I think this collection is absolutely gorgeous for Autumn and will definitely be getting a lot of use from me. What do you think of the Rich Chocolate collection?

Available at Bobbi Brown counters nationwide, and online.… and LIMITED EDITION!

MAC Flat Out Fabulous

I am such a lover of MAC Ruby Woo lipstick – it’s the perfect red, and as it’s matte it stays put alllllll niiiiiiighhhhhttttt looooonnnnnnngggggggg. When MAC extended their line of Retro Matte lipsticks, I couldn’t wait to go and have a look at their offerings.

I came away with Flat Out Fabulous; a hot pink which is very wearable, and, does, indeed, stay put. I tested it out last weekend and it stayed through drinks at a bar, and a three course meal!

The good news is, the new Retro Matte collection will become part of the permanent line – yay!

Has anyone tried any of the other new shades from the collection?

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick & Liner

Last night I went to the launch of Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipstick at the W Hotel, where the brand were showcasing their new range of 22 lipsticks and matching liners.

I immediately went over to the display stand and swatched as many as I could fit on my hand, and wow oh wow, I loved them all. They have a perfect range of colours from soft nudes to bold reds, and all others in between. The formula of the lipsticks is amazingly creamy without being stodgy, and they are all really pigmented and, even on the hand, look moisturising. On the lips, they feels great – they apply smoothly and leave the lips feeling hydrated while giving an amazing colour payoff. They contain jojoba oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter and shea butter, so you can imagine how gorgeous they feel!

The 24/7 Glide on Lip Pencils come in colours to compliment the lipsticks, with matching names, and the colour of the liner covering the pencil to make things a bit easier! All of the shades in the collection are brand new, with Ozone and Naked being the only pre-existing liners, but Naked’s had a bit of a rework to make it even more fabulous. They can be worn as a liner, or all over the lip, alone, or under lipstick or gloss. The amazing thing is, these do.not.budge! It took a bit of elbow work to get the swatches of liner off my hand! Again, these are packed full of moisturising ingredients; they don’t drag your lips and are super creamy and easy to work with leaving a velvet finish.

I took home with me Streak lipstick, Bang liner, and Obsessed liner and lipstick.

Streak is a beautiful coral pink, which is going to be fabulous for the summer – I love it! It’s full of colour but is still fairly gentle and day-time friendly.

Bang lipliner is the perfect compliment to Bang lipstick – both, bright orangey-red colours – but I thought it would also be nice to use alongside Streak to pump up the intensity a little. Here I am wearing it alone, over the lip.

Obsessed is a bright, baby pink shade. It’s the kind of colour I am always drawn to, and this one was no exception. Here’s the lipstick…

And here’s the liner, worn alone…

I had Anarchy, a bright hot pink, applied while I was at the event, and I loved that too. If they’d have let me, I seriously would’ve taken the lot, and got good use out of each of them. They’re out on 5th August  from Debenhams (£14 for the lipsticks, £12 for the liners) – you must must must check them out and experience them for yourselves!

Illamasqua Paranormal Collection

Next Tuesday (30th April) sees the launch of Illamasqua’s latest collection – Paranormal – where everything is not as it seems. I went along to the launch this week, which was very eerie, and had a look at the new things on offer.

The new range consists of 3 nail polishes which – to the eye look like normal, pretty nail polish, but are secretly UV nail polishes that glow in UV black light – Parnormal UV Nail Varnish is limited edition and comes in Ouija (bright pink), Omen (bright green) and Seance (bright purple) as well as a clear UV topcoat – Geist.

The eyeshadow quad, Paranormal Palette, looks just like a palette of pink, green copper and purple shadows – but when you touch them they are squishy – kind of Moondough-esque.

The new gel liner, Infinity, promises to be blacker than black… and the rest of the things, I was lucky enough to get to take home for a play…

Hydra Veil was one of the most exciting discoveries for me on the night. I rarely get in a fluster over skincare, but this is something else – literally like nothing I have seen before. It’s main purpose is to be used as a primer before foundation, to get rid of those flaky bits we get near the nose (or anywhere!) and to hydrate under the eyes – but could also be used to hydrate the whole face as part of a skincare routine or on a long haul flight. When you open the tub, there is a little scoop spoon attached – and this is where the fun begins.

Hydra Veil looks like any thick, gel-like product. To the touch, it’s bouncy – like a jelly. You use the scoop spoon to get some product out – and the jelly just grows back over and settles back down to a flat topped product again, with no indentations – it really is magic!

I had a chat with David Horne on the night, Illamasqua’s Director of Product Development – and he said that he rejected so many products before this because it wasn’t settling perfectly. This one has definitely hit the nail on the head – I can’t stop testing it!

As for the product itself, when you rub it between your fingers it turns to an almost water-like substance. One scoop is enough to apply to your whole face. It smells divine and leaves skin feeling hydrated and ready for make up. David said it works in perfect harmony with Skin Base Foundation, so I shall be giving that a go tonight.

There are two new matte lipsticks – Posture (as above) and ESP – a darker, bolder purple. Posture is a cool toned purple which can look different in different lights. Sometimes it looks really purple, others pinkish, and sometimes a little nude. If you like MAC Blankety, I think you’d like this. It’s the more purple, matte version. I am wearing it in the photos below.

The new Gleam highlighter shade is a warm bronze illuminating shade. When I first laid eyes on it, it reminded me of MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Seaside – but it’s much more coppery and fluid than Seaside.

As I swatched it, I thought it would make a perfect highlighter for a darker skinned person – absolutely beautiful on black skin… so me doing what I always do – put it on my eyes.

It looked really pretty colour-wise, but formula-wise, the eyes weren’t the best idea as it creased within 5 minutes. I decided, after all, to try it on my cheekbones – and WOW, I’m in love! The Gleam actually worked quite well as a base for a more grungey, smoked out look too.

The nail polish I have is Ouija. It looks bright pink in the bottle, but when you catch it, you see silvery tones to it too. On the nails it looks almost metallic – then in UV light it is gorgeous and luminous (but unfortunately I don’t have a black light to show you!)

My thumb nail shows the colour of Seance polish, which I had applied at the event… and this is Ouija!

It hits stores and online at www.illamasqua.com on Tuesday 30th April. Whatcha think?

Illamasqua Immodest

I do love a pink lipstick – if you came to my house you would see that my personal collection is mainly pinks and nudes, with a few reds and purples thrown in. You’d think there are only so many pinks you can buy without repeating lipsticks, albeit through different brands. Illamasqua’s Immodest is definitely one I don’t have anything else like in my stash. It’s gorgeously bright pink – verging on neon, which is matt in texture.

Because of the matt texture it’s not one to wear when you have dry lips – you really need to make sure the lips are prepped well and there are no flaky bits otherwise it will definitely show up as it’s dry itself (although not drying). The bonus is that it will last an absolute age on your lips. As I sit and type this I have had it on for 3 hours and it doesn’t look any different from when I first applied it!

Despite the massive pop of colour, Illamasqua have managed to make such a wearable shade of neon pink – I love it!

Immodest costs £16 from Illamasqua

Laura Mercier Spring Summer Releases

As part of their new Spring Summer Collection, Laura Mercier have added 14 new shades to their Créme Smooth Lip Colour range, and eight shades to the Caviar Stick Eye Colours. I tested out the new lipstick in Strawberry Sorbet, and Caviar Stick in Grey Pearl.

The casing of the Créme Smooth Lip Colors is gorgeous – it feels really sleek and solid, and the lid closes with a satisfying clunk. The colour of the lipstick in the bullet is a rather tomatoey red, although it looks different once it’s applied – a warm-toned sheer red with a hint of pink. It feels very moisturising and leaves a semi-lustrous finish – almost like a very highly pigmented balm, just not quite so slippery. It contains Olive Oil and Vitamin E, so it really is doing good to your lips while you wear it. Camp Laura Mercier claim that these will last for 6-8 hours, which this one didn’t on me – it came off once lunch happened.
The Caviar Eye Sticks are one of my favourite Laura Mercier products – they are so easy to work with, easily blendable (even with your finger), and super long lasting. Grey Pearl, I thought from the bullet, would be a light taupe colour, but again, once it’s applied, it looks a different colour and is definitely grey (with maybe a hint of taupe). It has a subtle shimmer to it which adds a lovely dimension to the eye. It can be worn alone or acts as a great base for other eyeshadows, or to lay the foundations for a smokey eye. I swatched this on my hand this morning, and now, a whole day after with numerous hand-washes, it’s still there!

I’m really pleased with both of the items I tried. I normally shy-away from grey and silver toned shadows, instead opting for the golden alternative, but I think this is really pretty. The Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Grey Pearl can be used lightly for a sheer wash of colour, or heavily for more colour impact. After 7 hours on my oily lids it has started to crease slightly, but this is a far better result than any of the usual eye products I use.

The lipstick feels so comfortable to wear and is a great way to ease yourself into wearing bold colours because of the finish. The moisturising properties mean it’s a fab, and much more colourful alternative to lip balm. I’d never normally apply a red lipstick without a lip brush, but this glided onto the lips so smoothly – it was a dream to apply, and no lip brush was needed!

Do you like the look of these products? I really want to check out the Illuminating Eye Colours which are also part of the new Spring Summer Collection – they come in three golden earthy tones but are limited edition – I must get to a counter soon to give them a go. Luckily the new Créme Smooth Lip Colours and Caviar Stick Eye Colours are all now part of the permanent line.

Laura Mercier is available at Harrods, Selfridges and Space NK – let me know if you get anything from the new collection!

Bobbi Brown ‘Pretty Powerful Pink’ Pot Rouge

Last night, I went to the Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Bloggers event – which was a great get together celebrating women and finding out about the latest news from camp Bobbi.

Pretty Powerful is a campaign which celebrates how beautiful every woman from every background is – and started with a book Pretty Powerful: Beauty Stories to Inspire Confidence. It’s a step by step book which shows before and after photos of all different types of women, from famous actresses, to singers, to ‘real women’ which includes inspirational stories about what beauty means to them, as well as some fantastic tips and tricks not only about make up, but about being confident and happy.

The latest release in the Pretty Powerful campaign is the Pretty Powerful Pink Pot Rogue, which is a multifunctional cream product which you can use on cheeks and lips.

It’s one of those colours that will suit everyone’s skin tones – a gorgeous dusky pink which is very buildable depending on how much colour you want. It adds a fab, natural but finished look and believe it or not, this is the first time in my 29 years I have actually used a cream blush on myself! I rather love it!

I am wearing it as a cream blush, and a lipstick – it’s so easy to apply using the finger, and easily blendable – the design of the packaging; a slim pot with a mirrored lid, makes it super easy to pop in your bag for touch ups on the go.

It’s launched today – National Women’s Day to further send out the message how powerful us women are – and a full 100% of the proceeds of sales (-VAT) will be going to Dress For Success UK – a charity set up to help women get back into the workplace, which I’m sure is a subject close to many of our hearts, especially since the recession. It’s about building up confidence in themselves, in their make up, in their clothes, in their knowledge – getting them out there and ready to work again. What’s not to love!?

You can view some of the Pretty Powerful stories on the Bobbi Brown Facebook Page  where you can also share who is a Pretty Powerful person to you, to be in with the chance of the pair of you winning an all expenses paid trip to New York for a makeover at Bobbi Brown HQ!

The Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Pink Pot Rogue is available from all Bobbi Brown counters and online costing £18.