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!

Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes

Yesterday morning I was invited to watch the amazing make up artist Alex Babsky doing a demonstration of the new Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes. There are 12 palettes to the range, from natural, neutral looks to dramatic smokey eyes and daring colourful colours.

Each palette contains five pearl-finish shadows which compliment each other – one main colour, one highlighting colour, two shades which work well as a gradient blended with the main colour, and a very dark colour intended to be used as an eyeliner – although could also be used to smoke-out the look even further.

Alex worked with Bain de Minuit – a gorgeous, intense blue toned palette. Here is the look he created on his model.

I recorded the demo, so if you’d like to see the steps involved – have a watch by clicking below.

Also at the event was Maja, the Lancome make up artist that did me up for my day at the EE BAFTA Style Suites earlier this year. She was wearing one of the more daring palettes – Menthe á l’O.

I was given the Vert Mystére palette to take home to try myself.

The Hypnose palettes come in a sleek mirrored compact with two applicators inside. Normally I chuck applicators straight away – but these ones are extra special – the handles and their housing are magnetic! No more dropping them on the floor of the tube when you’re touching up – hurrah! One of the applicators is a fluffy(ish) brush designed for sweeping colour into and above your crease, or to blend shades. The other is a double ended sponge applicator – one to pack on the colour – the other end is super-thin, to be used for lining the eye with shadow.

When you buy the palette, you also get a sticker which you can stick on your mirror as a guide of where to place what colours. The numbering system is like this…

They advise that shade 1 is the signature shade of the palette – designed to be worn over the whole of the lid. Shade 2 is the highlighter to be used under the brow bone. Shade 3 is the eyeliner. Shade 4 is to be used on the hollow of the lid and the outer corners of the eye to contour. Shade 4 is for the inner corner of the eye. 

Alex’s demo showed a different way of using the colours – he used Shade 1 under the eye and to map out the crease of the eye. Shade 4 with a wet brush over the lid, then with a dry brush to blend out the edges. A pat of Shade 1 in the centre of the lid, and Shade 2 in the inner corner of the eye.

I used Alex’s method when trying the palette out for myself. I added Shade 3 (dry) as liner and finished with Lancome Hypnose Star mascara.

The Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes cost £37 available from Lancome counters nationwide or Lancome.co.uk – to see the full range of shades, watch my video above.

Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes

Magnifibres claim to give you a false lash effect, without needing falsies – by brushing on fibres to your lashes that can lengthen them by up to 5mm. In terms of eyelash length, that is a hell of a lot! As a short, stumpy eyelashed gal, I couldn’t wait to give it a go.

The tube looks like a standard tube of mascara, but once you open it up you see the wand looks almost like a stick of candy floss – with fluffy white fibres coming off it.

You apply your normal mascara, then brush through your lashes with Magnifibres – this leaves a coating of white fibres, which bulk up and add length to your lashes. You have to take care to look down as you apply it as if the particles get in your eye it can be quite uncomfortable. At this point your lashes look rather white, so you add another coat of your mascara and it’s as simple as that!

After trying the Magnifibres myself, I can see a slight difference – there is a little length added, and also a fuller lash effect. I notice the volume more than the length.

I don’t think I could substitute this to using false lashes, but to add a bit of oomph to your lashes without the hassle of sticking on falsies, this works a treat.

Magnifibres costs £19.50 from lookfantastic.com

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara

For the past couple of months I have been using Clinique’s High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara, and it’s definitely gone on my Favourite Mascaras list!

I’m not normally a massive lover of the plastic wand, but this one just works. The wand is rather large with bristles varying in length which somehow manages to capture your lashes right from the root. The domed tip, with shorter bristles make it easy to reach shorter hairs and corner lashes without making a mess!

I find it really easy to apply, and the results are as follows….

The photo above is taken wearing just one coat of the mascara, however it is easily buildable for times you want more volume to the lashes. It seems to fan my lashes out on application, and doesn’t leave them feeling crispy, which is a big pet hate of mine!

The colour I’ve been wearing is Black, but I’ve noticed they also sell a Blackest Black, which I will definitely try once this one runs out – I don’t quite know how they can get it any blacker than this!?!

It is supposedly suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers – after having my laser eye surgery in November, my eyes are a lot more sensitive, however this mascara hasn’t bothered them at all. It stays put all day and comes off easily with regular eye make up remover. There’s nothing I can fault about it – I truly love it and highly recommend it!

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara costs £17 and is available at clinique.co.uk and Clinique counters.

Liz Earle Smudgeproof Mascara & Intensifying Base

Liz Earle started to introduce make up range to their line of products earlier this year, which seems to be slowly expanding. I have been playing with lots of it so expect reviews coming up over the next few weeks. Today I’m going to tell you about the mascara.

There is only one mascara in their range – ‘Smudgeproof Mascara’, and they also have a base, ‘Intensifying Mascara Base’. I like that there’s only one – it makes decision making that bit easier! I find it very confusing when at a make up counter, they have 15 different mascaras each one claiming to be better than the other! The only choice here is black, or brown?

Both products have a spiral bristle brush – which I prefer to the newer, plastic type wands (with a few exceptions). In general I find it easier to apply and more of my lashes seem to get coated with a bristle brush.

The base essentially coats your lashes with what looks like a white mascara, which makes your lashes fuller. You don’t have to use it under the Liz Earle mascara to make it work – you can use it under any mascara to make your lashes thicker and longer looking.

The mascara is really nice – as it’s name says, it is smudgeproof, and stays put. There is no flaking, no panda eyes – it just clings to the lashes, and stays there, which is what I want in a mascara. In terms of application, it’s easy to coat your lashes in product with a few swoops of the wand – lashes look fuller without looking clumpy.

The photo above shows me with no mascara on, and then the Intensifying Mascara Base and Smudgeproof mascara in the photo below. As you can see, my lashes do look both fuller and longer. It’s not the most dramatic of mascaras, but for an every day, lash-boosting look, I have really enjoyed using these products together.

The Smudgeproof Mascara is £14.50, and Intensifying Lash Base is £10.50 from John Lewis or the Liz Earle website.

Have you tried any of the Liz Earle make up range? What do you think of it?

Holiday Hit & Miss

Finally, I managed to get a card reader, so, “hello!” here I am again! It feels so long ago now (was only a couple of weeks ago but hey, you know how it goes), but when I went to Spain, I decided to travel light, and just take hand luggage. One of the things which made that a whole lot easier was the label.m Mini Airliner set – a set of 50ml bottles of all the hair essentials you will need while you’re on holiday.

The Gentle Cleansing Shampoo & Conditioner smelt absolutely amazing with a hint of coconut, and just like a holiday – my hair was left amazingly shiny after using them, which is normally a problem for me while I’m away somewhere hot. There wasn’t enough for my thick hair to last the week, but they were perfect to keep me going for the first few days until we got to a shop.

I used the Protein Spray after washing and before going out in the sun to stop it getting frazzled, and it really helped to keep it in great condition. The Sea Salt Spray claimed to make hair appear ‘thicker with a matt effect’ – I have quite thick hair anyway so didn’t use it until the day before we left, but I wish I’d have used it sooner. It gave fab texture to my hair, kept my waves in place, without feeling big and bushy. I was also wary it would leave my hair in a big matted mess, but that wasn’t the case at all.

The set is £12 from selected label.m salons, and Toni & Guy and essensuals stores – you can choose any shampoo & conditioner, and any two products from the ‘mini create’ range. It comes in a waterproof pouch and you get a free booklet on holiday hair – I’d definitely recommend picking one up if you’re going away.

So, that’s the hit – now for the miss…

As I was going with my mum and my kids I decided I wouldn’t wear make up and would give my skin a bit of a breather. All I needed was a waterproof mascara and I’d be sorted. Ok, so maybe I did sneak in a bit more for the evenings, but I did stick to just mascara during the day.

No I’m not a skank, it’s just a very sticky bottle from the security labels on it!

I am happy with using a non-waterproof mascara at home, so I needed something cheap that would do me for the week – so when I popped in Boots and saw Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Waterproof Mascara was on special offer, I decided to give it a go. I’ve been impressed with other Max Factor mascaras, and as it said it would give me 300% more volume than bare lashes, I was sold. Fat lashes was what I was after, and it sounded like this would do the trick. Only it didn’t.

So, my lashes were slightly thicker, but definitely not 300% more volumised. You could tell I had mascara on, but it wasn’t anything amazing. It was also really hard to apply – for some reason I ended up with it all over my lids every time I put it on. That’s not the only place it ended up either… by lunchtime I had panda eyes every single day. I wasn’t using an oily suntan lotion so all I can put it down to is the waterproof mascara not being so waterproof! If anyone else has used this mascara I’d be interested to see if they have had the same problems.

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara is currently £4.99 from Boots (usual price £7.99). I wish I’d stuck to the L’Oreal Lash Architect I’d used last year.

I’m off again to Majorca for my best friends hen do this month, so please let me know your hits and misses 🙂

Barry M Lash Modelling Mascara

I was doing the make up on a catwalk show recently, and Barry M was the sponsor. I was given a Lash Modelling mascara to use on my models, and I had a nice surprise at just how good it was. I liked it so much on the people I’d put it on, that I decided I’d use the rest of it on myself, until I managed to get to a department store to pick up the new Diorshow. However,  I’m so impressed with this mascara, I’m going to use it until it runs out.

It has a plastic/rubber wand, which I’m not usually a massive fan of. It has longer spikes at one end, and shorter at the top which makes getting the corner lashes and lower lashes isn’t a problem.

It claims to voumise, lengthen and separate lashes, and I think it does all three. When I was on a job yesterday my client asked me if I was wearing false lashes and couldn’t believe it when I said it was a Barry M mascara I was wearing!

It’s quite a wet mascara, but not to the extent where you get it all over your face. I find it easy to work with, and as long as you don’t leave it too long, it’s easy to build up to get even fatter looking lashes without being clumpy. What I love the most is just how black it is – almost blacker than black!

It’s £6.49 from Boots… the last cheapy mascara I used left me with panda eyes by the end of the day, but this stays well and truly in place from morning to night. I’m thoroughly impressed!

Have you tried Lash Modelling mascara? What do you think?

ModelCo Fibre Lash Brush on False Lashes

As you may have gathered, I am quite a fan of eyelash enhancing products – mascaras, lengtheners and falsies; so when I was asked if I’d like to try out Model Co’s Fibre Lash of course, I said yes. I’d heard lots of great things about it – it won Harpers Bazaar UK’s ‘Best Lash Secret’ in 2011 and Boots sold 1 every 30 seconds when it launched in the UK.

Dannii Minogue, the ambassador for Fibre Lash says “I love my false lashes in a bottle – It is a beauty product that truly
delivers on its promise! Every girl needs a Fibre Lash in their makeup
kit, it’s your secret weapon for a flirty flutter. I have all of my
friends and family hooked!”

I was intrigued.

It works in a way that I had never tried before. This is no mascara that claims to give you longer, thicker lashes. This contains actual lash fibres which you brush on before the mascara, which thickens your lashes before your eyes.

To use Fibre Lash you first brush on the Lash Fibres which feels so strange on your eyes. It’s like getting cotton wool stuck to your eyelashes! You have to be careful when you apply them because it could be quite uncomfortable if you get the fibres in your eyes – although it’s not harmful. You then apply the Extension Mascara as you would your usual mascara, and if you want longer and thicker lashes, keep repeating these steps. I did two applications in the photo below.

As you can see from the ‘before’ photo, I naturally have very short, fair eyelashes – which were changed dramatically with the Fibre Lash. I wouldn’t say it’s the most thick my lashes have ever looked, but there is an obvious improvement and they do look a lot longer than my current mascara makes them.

Fibre Lash stayed put all day, with no weird transferring business, and no panda eyes. It was removed easily with eye make up remover, and came off in little tube shapes where it had been coating each individual lash.

Thumbs up from me! What do you think? Have you tried it before?

ModelCo have just launched www.fibrelash.com – the new dedicated site for Fibre Lash, so they are offering an exclusive gift with purchase (while stocks last) – when you buy a Fibre Lash set (for £35) you will receive a free ModelCo Lip Luxue Duo set worth £120.

Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara

I was in need of a new mascara, I needed something I could get on the High Street, as I’d decided that day that I needed a new one and I needed it NOW! As I browsed through the make up shelves of Boots, I remembered a rave review I’d read about Max Factor Masterpiece Max – how it gave big, dramatic, lashes – so that was that. My new mascara.

Max Factor claims that Masterpiece Max can give you up to 400% more volume than your naked lashes, without clogging or clumping. I found the results slightly different….

It does deliver on the bold lash front, but I find it reeeealllly hard to work with.  It’s very wet, so you have to be careful how you apply it or it ends up under your eyebrows. I also seem to constantly end up with mascara along my eyelid which I gather is due to the design of the wand.

The wand is plastic with shorter spikes towards the tip, to enable you to get to all your lashes. It is really good at separating the lashes and giving them definition but it takes a few coats to get your lashes looking fat; the more coats you apply, the fatter the lashes, but in turn, the more stuck together the lashes get, which can become an issue…

While I was applying the mascara for this pic, I ended up with some on my eyelid – I tried to sort it out but in doing so managed to stick loads of lashes together where they were so wet. When I then tried to comb through them again with the wand, they looked so ridiculous I had to remove all my make up from one eye and start again. Not so handy when you’re in a rush in the mornings.

My lashes definitely look more voluminous using Max Factor Masterpiece Max, whether or not they’re 400% more voluminous I couldn’t tell you but there’s definitely an essence of drama to them now. The other good thing about it is that it really does last all day long without flaking or giving me panda eyes.

I’ve used it for a good few weeks, so it’s not even as if I need to get used to working with the formula… I just don’t think it’s for me.

Revlon CustomEyes Mascara

Revlon ran a competition on their Facebook page to win one of 1000 of their new CustomEyes Mascaras – and I was one of the lucky ones that won, and I really do feel lucky because I love it!

The idea is that you can create two different looks, using the one mascara. The lid has a twist-cap, you put it in position 1 to add length and drama, and position 2 for length and definition. The difference that I see in the brush is that in position 1, the tip of the wand is more flexible, and in position 2 is more firm. I have heard on the grapevine that the bristles change, but as they are now mascara-coated I can’t tell whether there’s any truth in that.

The brush is made of plastic, which I’m not normally a great lover of, but in this instance I find it fab – it separates lashes and gives definition as well as thickness and drama.

Here are some pics of before and after applying CustomEyes Mascara. The shade I have is Blackest Black. I used it in position 1 and position 2 straight after, because I love thick, fake looking lashes!

Before:

After:

It coats amazingly well; from the very first coat you can see a difference in your lashes. The black definitely is the blackest form of black, and it stays put all day – no panda eyes, hurrah! There is also a waterproof version available if you prefer that kind of thing!

This mascara is priced at £9.99, and is currently part of the 3 for 2 across various make-up brands at Boots. I for one, will definitely be repurchasing, it has all the star quality of a high-end mascara, at a high street price. Win!