Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ralph Lauren Romance

What's in a name?

The fragrance so aptly named 'Romance' is renowned for potentially the most romantic advert ever made - what more would you expect?

The scent, along with the beautiful imagery, evokes the timeless feeling of falling in love.  And with the impending Royal nuptials, a feeling of a modern day fairy tale is ever-present.  After all, is it not almost every girl's dream to fall in love with her very own Prince?!

This beautifully feminine and floral fragrance is both classic and modern at the same time - as you would expect coming from the House of Lauren.  I am by no means a perfume expert and won't attempt to go into the notes but all I know is, it smells gorgeous!  Floral, fresh, clean and of course, romantic.

I have no Prince to talk of at the moment but who knows?  If I wear this and happen to bump into the beautiful Prince Harry (hands off girls - my housemates and I have liked him for a really long time), maybe I'll have a royal romance of my own?!


This product was sent for review purposes but my opinions are, AS ALWAYS, 100% honest

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

NOTD: Barry M Peach Melba

A few months ago, Yu and I realised that her University town is my home town - small world?!  After months of tweeting, we finally met up last week and we had such a good time!  The highlight?  Pretty much jumping for joy that the small, local Superdrug has expanded it's previously tiny range and now stocks Sleek, MUA and Accessorize among many others.  We must have looked like complete nutters....

You can read all about it here (Yu puts it better than I ever could..!) but needless to say, we both purchased some new Barry M nail paints - it would have been rude not to!

First up to try....
Barry M Peach Melba

Peach Melba was on my nail varnish wish list and it does not disappoint.  A supposed dupe for Illamasqua's Purity, it is gorgeous creamy peach that looks almost nude in some lights but neon in others.  The application was a little streaky - nothing to really moan about - and whilst two coats would have been plenty, I opted for three to ensure a perfectly smooth and opaque finish.

Unfortunately my attempt of duping Seche Vite with China Glaze's fast dry topcoat is not really working out.  It is nowhere near as fast and as you can probably see in the picture, it recedes on the tips even when I cover the free edge.  Any recommendations for a fast drying top coat that works - with no health side effects - would be really appreciated!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

An Essential Repurchase

I'm not really one for repurchasing lip products.  Mainly because I feel I own too many already and there is always something new and exciting to try out!

However....this all changed last week.

I finished my Revlon Super Lustrous Peach Petal lipgloss that I bought around a year ago - you can see a swatch here and actually on my lips here - and I had a very (minor) panic that I could just not live without it.  My dramatic side coming out...!

It is just gorgeous.  A perfect milky pale pink gloss that looks fantastic on its own or over the top of a lipstick for a glossy nude finish.  The packaging is sleek and stylish and with pretty much every day use, the product lasted a year.  As for the finish, it isn't drying or overly sticky and lasts for a good length of time.  
This will forever be in my collection!

I've definitely got my eye on a few more shades from the range - any recommendations?!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

In The Mix

How many times have you bought another new product because you felt that nothing in your collection fits a specific bill?!

However...2 products mixed together can sometimes provide you with your dream product with no extra expense needed.

Example numero uno:

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation &
 Revlon Skin Lights Highlighter

The gorgeous weather over the last week or so made me crave a dewy finish foundation but still with the longevity and coverage I need.  I have to admit, I was contemplating spending another £25.50 on Double Wear light but, a 50/50 mix of these products stopped me in my tracks.

The finish is one that dreams are made of: skin that looks flawless, dewy and healthy all day.

The coverage is only slightly reduced by the highlighter and the lasting power maybe is cut by maybe one or two hours but this is something I can deal with for the beautiful effect.

The power of this mix is also that you can create your perfect finish by adapting the quantities - a little less highlighter when more coverage is needed say at night; a little more for a low coverage day time look.  It is also perfect for sheering out the foundation if you get a bit of colour from the sun.

Unfortunately, Skin Lights in no longer available but any liquid highlighter would fit the bill.  Benefit High Beam, No 7 Skin Illuminator and Me Me ME Beat The Blues - I'm looking at you!

Monday, 11 April 2011

17 Again

I have to admit, 17 is not normally a brand I ever look at but the amazing Mirror Shine lipsticks made me take a little more interest..

So when I was in need of a little make up pick me up, 17 ticked all the boxes!  Cheap, cheerful, good quality products on offer at 3 for 2 - how could I resist?!

First Kiss blusher is a gorgeous pink with a slight golden sheen to it.  It is perfect for adding some colour to the cheeks and adding a subtle glow.  It seems to last pretty well on the cheeks too - very impressed!

Flirty Shine On lipstick is the second lip product by 17 I've tried and fallen in love with.  Although it is matte - which the name doesn't suggest - it does, like its sister Beehive, apply like a dream.  It is also incredibly long lasting, isn't drying in the slightest and the matte black packaging is pretty nice too.  It's a keeper.

I cannot comment yet on the Heart Beat Lasting Fix nail polish but it looks like gorgeous baby blue in the bottle.  Expect a NOTD soon!

These swatches are one of the reasons I cannot wait to get home to the DSLR but hopefully you get the idea!

Left: First Kiss blusher
Right: Flirty Shine On lipstick

Any other drugstore bargains to be had?! Let me know!


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Hot Cloth Cleanser Battle: Soap & Glory vs The Sanctuary

I bought the Soap and Glory version all the way back last Summer - if you've been with a while you may remember my review... 

Everything I said in that still stands - it really is a gorgeous product!  It is gorgeous to apply, smells lovely and leaves me skin looking healthy and polished.  I'm definitely going to purchase a few more tubes as it has a third off at the moment - can't resist an offer!

After my success with the S&G equivalent I was really excited to try this Sanctuary version.  I had a £5 off voucher just as I ran out of the S&G - it seemed meant to be!

Unfortunately, it does not live up to its rival... 
1) It smells herbally which is so off putting - especially in the morning - compared to the fresh, lavender scent of the S&G.
2) It applies so thickly that you really need to scrub the muslin cloth into your face to get it all off.  I know, I know, this is kind of the point but I just feel it's slighty too much effort?  If I was in a rush, I could just wash the S&G off however if I do that with this, I'm left with a greasy balm all over my skin.
3) It doesn't really cleanse - it leaves traces of my make up everywhere.  In comparison with the Soap and Glory - that got every scrap of my make up off, including waterproof mascara.  It also didn't sting my eyes which this Sanctuary one does.
4) It has absolutely, no effect, whatsoever on my skin.  After using it, my skin doesn't feel soft, smooth or clean and definitely doesn't look healthy or radiant.

Sorry The Sanctuary but you just don't cut it this time!
Soap and Glory - you are the winner! 
(Which I seriously love - the packaging is too cute to not have in my bathroom..)

Next up to try: Liz Earle and No 7...

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Foundation Trial: Collection 2000 Naturally Radiant

Out of the products I'm giving a second chance to, this foundation was one that I was really excited to use again.  As a foundation junkie, I've used many in the past but this stuck in my mind as being really good.  So, what's the verdict?!

I'm been trying this out all week and I am so, so impressed!  For a mere £4.19, this performs somewhere in between Colorstay and Double Wear and it therefore comes highly recommended from me!  It's not just me that thinks so as well - with a 4* rating on, Collection 2000 are obviously doing something right!

Availability: Boots and Superdrug - the usual!  £4.19 for a bottle hopefully makes this accessible to anyone and everyone.

Colour: One of its downsides - only 6 shades to choose from.  There is a mix of pink, yellow and neutral tones though so hopefully most people can find something to suit.

Consistency and Application: The product comes out of its squeezy tube - hygienic and practical - with a usual liquid foundation consistency.  There are no gimmicks of air whipping etc - just a straight liquid.  It applies smoothly on the skin with an average blend time - no need to rush as with the likes of Colorstay!  

Coverage: Marketed as a low-medium coverage, I would say that is true.  It can however be built up to a medium-full coverage without looking cakey at all - one of its definite plus points!

Finish: My preferred semi-matte/satin finish.  With a primer there is no real difference - it just glides onto the skin nicely if you use one.  When topped with powder, the finish can look a little heavy which I personally don't favour but it did stay looking fresh for a few more hours than if left without. 

Lasting Power: Here is why I prefer it to Colorstay - it stayed put for hours.  A true test of a foundation is when I work all day on Saturdays.  I'm pleased to report that after 12 hours, with a slight touch up of powder, it looked pretty much as good as when I applied.  It had faded slightly but no where near to the extent of the Colorstay.

Overall: This foundation has many claims including its ability to give skin a new lease of life; leaving it fresh and flawless with a formula that hydrates and energises.  I wouldn't say it lives up to these as the finish is a little too matte but I do still really, really like it.  The coverage is not as heavy and obvious as the Double Wear can be but lasts longer than Colorstay and therefore is the perfect happy medium.

I would recommend this to someone with a normal-combination skin who require a buildable coverage with an average lasting power that can be extended once powdered.  It also contains an SPF of 15 which, combined with the low initial coverage, makes it the perfect foundation for the coming Summer months!

At £4.19, it'd be rude not to give it a try..!

I'm planning on creating a separate page collating all these reviews, adding in extra information and photos etc - if you think this is something you'd like to see, please let me know!