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?

Chantecaille Cheek Creme – Playful

Chantecaille is a brand I have admired for a long time – when I worked in Space NK I would avidly play with all the products – when I was giving customers a makeover using their make up, it was a brand that I knew didn’t need much ‘selling’ for the products did all the work for themselves. Besides, Angelina Jolie is a fan. 

The first, very welcome, addition of theirs to my make up collection is the new Cheek Creme in Playful, a gorgeous pink-with-a-hint-of-coral cream blush packed with antioxidants and infused with Lily bulb and Peach extracts to protect the skin from environmental damage.
As Chantecaille now only sell their cheek and eye products as refillables in an effort to be more environmentally friendly, you have to purchase the palette too. The Pebble Palette (pictured) fits it perfectly and has a mirrored lid, perfect for topping up on the go. The two together cost £29 which is a little pricey compared to other cream blushes, on the market, but you have to remember that Chantecaille is very much a luxury brand, and for the price, you get a luxury product. 
Firstly, the texture of the blush is delicious – as you put it on your skin, it’s like velvet, and seems to blend perfectly where you need it. It transforms from cream to powder, leaving a hint of luminosity to the cheeks. The colour is buildable, but I find you don’t need much, one gentle application is all I used in the photograph above, so it’s going to be knocking around for a while. Lastly, staying powder. It just stays… all day. 
Chantecaille Cheek Creme is available at Chantecaille counters now priced at £29.

Bourjois Cream Blush 02 & 03

Everyone seems to have a little round pot of Bourjois within their stash somewhere – it could be to do with the fact they’ve been around for a long time, constantly improving and keeping up to date with trends while being really affordable. They created the first baked blush 150 years ago, and now, next week sees the release of their Cream Blush – 4 gorgeous little pots of blush which transform from cream to powder on the skin.

I have been testing out shades 02 and 03. 02 is the shade I would automatically go for – I do love a coral cheek. ‘Healthy Glow’ is it’s name, and it’s a pretty good name as I think that’s just what it gives you. Once it’s on the skin, a slight amount of pearly shimmer shows through, giving a nice dimension to where the blush has been applied. It’s a beautiful apricot blush which will get thorough use from me.

Both of the Bourjois Cream Blush’s that I tried are really easily buildable. I have been using my finger to apply, over the top of my foundation – patting it on then blending it up – they are so easy to apply and the first application isn’t too heavy so you can’t go too wrong!

03 ‘Rose Tender’ is a babydoll pink colour, which gives a nice gentle flush to the cheek. Again, there is a small amount of shimmer particles which I think is nice for a powder-blush (what this has set to be) as it leaves the skin looking fresh. I have worn it quite lightly, but you could go more extreme if that’s more you’re thing!

The Cream Blush launches on 8th May in Selfridges, and 15th May at Boots, Superdrug and Asos priced at £7.99

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?

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.

Lipstick Queen

Lipstick Queen is a brand I’ve often admired from afar, but for some reason, never tried. It was created by Poppy King when she couldn’t find the perfect shade of lipstick she was after, she went out there and created a lipstick line of her own (amazing!).

I was recently sent some Lipstick Queen products to try out – Big Bang gloss in Infinite, Rose lip liner, and Nude lip liner.

L-R, Rose lip liner, Infinite Big Bang gloss, Nude lip liner

The Big Bang range of glosses are all designed to make the lips appear fuller without having to experience any tingling… as I have rather large lips it’s a road I’ve never gone down before – but apparently it can be quite uncomfortable to achieve great plumping results! Poppy says “My Big Bang Theory is that with exactly the right ratio of shimmer to shine you can create the illusion of plumper lips.”

I was sent Infinite which is a peachy tone with golden pearl to it – it doesn’t leave much colour on the lips, but it’s much more interesting than a clear gloss, and definitely leaves my lips looking more plump. My favourite feature is the texture – it’s not sticky or gloopy at all, but almost silky – a great texture for lip gloss!

Big Bang – Infinite

The lip liners are smooth and creamy – they don’t pull the lips at all in application, and they are so soft that as well as being used as liner, they can easily be worn all over the lips as a base to lipstick or gloss, or on their own.

The Rose liner is definitely my favourite item I tried! Although my top tip is to make sure your lips are completely dry before you apply – as you can see, the colour didn’t really take to the middle of my lips as they were slightly wet there although, on a whole, I am thoroughly impressed – Rose is the perfect pinky red colour, and the texture of the liner make it super-simple to work with!

Rose lip liner
Rose lip liner + Big Bang – Infinite
Nude lip liner
Nude lip liner + Big Bang – Infinite

Lipstick Queen is available from Beauty Expert – lip liners are priced at £16 and come with a complimentary sharpener, and Big Bang glosses are £20 each.

Nails of the Day – Color Club Raspberry Rush

When I was at Professional Beauty this week I found a stand selling 2 Color Club nail polishes for £5, so I indulged in 4 of the beauties. The first one I thought I’d try is Raspberry Rush from the previous collection of scented nail polishes – the Wicked Sweet Collection. I already have Gimme a Grape Big Kiss, which I love, so figured this would be just as good.

It is!

It’s a lovely bright jelly pink, verging on neon but it doesn’t seem to have that white base to it that a lot of neons do. It applies super-smoothly and two coats left it opaque. You do have to be careful when doing the second coat that you paint all over the nail again, as if not, I realised the difference in the two coats is really visible.

My favourite thing about it is the smell – Raspberry Rush would lead you to believe it was raspberry scented, but to me, it smells exactly like a bubble gum I used to have – it doesn’t smell of bubble gum, just *that* bubble gum… it came in individual pink packets and had a juicy bit in the middle… if anyone knows what I mean, please let me know! {update: Bubaloo! Thank you Rachel!} My son thought they were a bit cherryish, which I agree with – not synthetic cherry (bleurgh!) but proper cherry-cherry! The smell isn’t too strong – you can’t smell it all the time, but every time I bring my hands to my face I get a pleasant reminder!

For £2.50, I’m a very happy lady!

Leighton Denny Lip Dual – Deal With It

Lip Dual is a range of lip products created by Leighton Denny, who is most famous for nail polish… so I was interested to see what they were like. Being a nail polish fiend, I love the fact that each of the colours in the range colour-match perfectly with Leighton Denny’s nail polish shades.

I initially thought  assumed that one end would be a lipgloss, the other a lipstick, but in fact, one end is a stain, not a gloss.

In the bottle the stain looks like it’s going to be a bubblegum hot pink colour, but I was disappointed with the colour payoff on the lips.

It gives a slight pinky tone to the lips, and a nice finish, it’s just not what I was expecting. When you lick your lips it tastes really sweet – not a problem for me, but some people may not like it.

{update – was sent this by Lip Dual’s Twitter which says that you can also use the stain under the lipstick to intensify the colour and make it last longer – shall give it a whirl!}

{another update – Leighton Denny personally messaged me with another tip – apply the stain, let it dry, then using your finger, blot the lipstick on over it for a more natural look, and the light coating of lipstick will last longer due to the stain}

The lipstick end, however, ooooooohhhh laaaaa laaaaa – I adore it! It’s the perfect cool toned bright pink without being too ‘yeehah look at me!’, since the first day I put it on I just can’t stop wearing it!

It goes on smoothly and is long lasting. It’s everything I want from a bright pink lipstick. If you want to see it in action, check out my last post of my Birchbox video – I’m wearing it in it. And here is is with full make up.

I may not get much use from the stain, but the gorgeousness of the lipstick means this is now a staple in my make up bag.

Leighton Denny Lip Duals are available from QVC priced at £26.50 for a set of two.

Nails of the Day – OPI If You Moust You Moust

If You Moust You Moust is part of OPI’s recent Minnie Mouse Collection. Because of the cool tones in it, it reminds me of Shorts Story – a fave of mine, and also a Jessica polish I have which I don’t know the name of (useful Alice, real useful). It’s a bright, Barbie-ish, girlie pink without being too in your face.

The formula is amazing – it glides on really well and smoothly, and is completely opaque with two coats. I really love this polish and will add it to my favourite pinks, but perhaps save it for when it’s a little warmer, I have suddenly got the urge to have dark dark nails – Lincoln Park After Dark, here I come!

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense – Plushest Punch

Last Tuesday night I went to the Clinique party where there were there were some fab items on show including their new Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms. I picked up lots of goodies to show you, so expect those over the next few weeks – one of them is the Chubby Stick Intense in the shade Plushest Punch.

They work on the same theory as the regular Chubby Sticks – they come in a crayon-like barrel and are super moisturising, except this time, instead of a sheer wash of colour, these babies are intense!

I am absolutely in love!

There are 8 shades in the new range, varying from Caramel to Berry tones – Plushest Punch is a gorgeous, wearable bold pink that isn’t too in your face; it still feels safe to wear during the day.

The design of them means its really easy to line and fill in your lips without the need of a brush, and the pigmentation means one swipe and you’re good to go.

God knows what I’m doing in this photo!

I can’t wait to try out more when they hit the shelves in mid November!