Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Wishlist: Dorothy Perkins

So Dorothy Perkins is a shop I have a mixed relationship with. Sometimes I can't get enough of their dresses but sometimes I feel a bit apathetic towards what they bring out. At the moment I'm not exactly blown away but there are a few bits and bobs I've got my eye in, including the following:

1. Pink Buckle Satchel - £28 // 2. Vintage Style Stud Pack - £10 // 3. Rose Bloom Prom Dress - £39 // 4. Yellow Floral Pleated Maxi - £24 // 5. Cream Love Birds Jumper - £28

I think out of the above I'm definitely going to have to get the earrings and the dress, though I am quite taken with the skirt too! Which of these do you like the best? Have you got any recommendations from Dorothy Perkins that I should take a look at?

Monday, 28 January 2013

H&M Smoky Purple Eyeshadow Palette

I don’t tend to think of H&M and beauty products going hand in hand but in the post-Christmas sales I picked up an eyeshadow palette that was reduced to £2.50. It’s the first palette I’ve bought from H&M and I’m really, really pleasantly surprised with the formula and pigmentation of the shadows.

Five colours make up the Smoky Purple palette and they’re all of a generous size, in a plastic rectangular palette that does away with foam applicators in favour of more product, which is always fine by me.

The colours range from pink to black and feature different amounts of shimmer, though the black is almost matte. The formula of the shadows is really soft and feels almost creamy, though they are powders. One of the drawbacks is that there is a little bit of fallout because they’re so soft but to combat this I apply them using a slightly damp brush.

Some of the shades are more pigmented than others but they’re all buildable. The pink, purple and black and all very pigmented and I find the pink makes a lovely highlight for the browbone, or an all-over base for an evening look. The two other colours are shimmery taupes, one quite light and one more of a darker grey/brown; the darker grey looks gorgeous in the crease, on top of the lighter shade.

The five colours together are all you need to create a subtle day time look or a smoky night time eye and the size of the palette means it’s great to take away on holiday or for a weekend. While the pigmentation isn’t amazing and there is quite a lot of fallout, this is a nice little palette and I’ve really enjoyed using it over the last couple of weeks. I’m really glad I picked this one up and I’ll be keeping an eye out for other H&M palettes in the future.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Rimmel Apocalips

At long last! Rimmel Apocalips are finally here! I've been desperate to get my hands on these ever since Fleur reviewed them at the end of last year and I genuinely counted down the days to January 23rd - sad, much? Anyway, I dashed to my local Boots on release day and promptly picked up six of the shades, partly because I'm incapable of self-restraint and partly because there was a 3 for 2 on all Rimmel products so why the hell wouldn't I?

It was actually the two nudes that I didn't buy and I'm definitely going to go back and get them soon (if the 3 for 2 is still on I'm thinking of getting the Wake Me Up concealer as my third item, good idea?). Nudes are something I've always been a bit nervous on as they do not suit my GIANT PORN MOUTH so I've held back but no more. I'm going to take the plunge. Nude me up, scotty.

But I digress.

In short, I absolutely love the Apocalips. After all of the hype surrounding them I was worried they'd fall a bit short but they completely exceeded my expectations. Halfway between a lipstick and a gloss they are pigmented like WOW and have serious staying power. I swatched Big Bang on my hand in Boots and the next morning a trace of colour was still there, even after a shower. Impressive!

The packaging of these lacquers is pretty standard but I like it all the same; the bottom half of the tube is sheer so you can get a realistic sense of the shade, rather than relying on a tricksy little sticker on the base. The lid is faceted to keep things interesting and they manage to feel sturdy but lightweight at the same time - you won't even notice the weight if you chuck one (or six) in your handbag but they don't feel too delicate. The applicator is a revelation as well; it's a doe foot wand but it feels soft and full and makes applying the Apocalips nice and easy. The applicator is the exact width of my lips so it only takes two sweeps for total coverage.

Below I've shared some photos of each colour I picked up - close ups of each shade on my lips, as well as a full face shot and a snap of the tube itself. The close up lip shots were taken in artificial light and the face shots are in natural light - I thought it might be helpful for you guys to see both.

I am unsure why I appear to have jaundice in the Nova photo...

Of the six I picked up I think Galaxy and Nova are my two favourites, which definitely surprised me. I very, very nearly put Galaxy back as I thought it might be a bit too dark for me but it looks great; it's not like anything else I have and it's always nice to try something new. Nova is a lovely neutral that looks just like my natural lip colour, so it's more subtle than some of the other shades. Enter Apocaliptic and Big Bang. Man, are these bright! The photos I've taken of Apocaliptic definitely do not show off quite what a vivid pink this one is - but it really is gorgeous. 

So there you have it. I'm overwhelmingly impressed with these - they're undoubtedly my favourite new product of 2013 so far and I recommend them without reservation. Go, go, go - especially while the Boots 3 for 2 is still on!

Rimmel Apocalips can be purchased from Superdrug or Boots for £5.99 each.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Body Shop Love Etc Solid Perfume

A couple of Christmases ago I got a bottle of the Body Shop Love Etc perfume, which I really loved. I used the bottle up quite quickly and never got round to replacing it, so when I saw the solid perfume come up in the Body Shop sale after Christmas this year I decided to pick it up. This is my first solid perfume and, while it isn’t as long-lasting as the bottled perfume, it was well worth the sale price of £2.50.

The Body Shop describes Love Etc as a ‘heart-stopping fusion of jasmine, vanilla and sandalwood notes.’ While I’m utterly crap at discerning particular scents in a perfume I could pick up the vanilla and sandalwood straight away, though the vanilla is the strongest that comes through.

This is quite an interesting scent; I haven’t owned anything similar and while it isn’t one of my all time favourites I do think I’ll keep either a bottle or a solid perfume in my collection. It reminds me of summer evenings and trips to the beach, so it’s definitely a good way to combat the winter blues.

The solid perfume comes in a cute heart-shaped container that I’m definitely going to reuse after it’s empty. It has the consistency of a lip butter and melts into the skin. It dries instantly and doesn’t feel at all sticky, if anything it’s so soft it feels almost powdery. My only issue with this is that it doesn’t last as long as the bottled perfume, though it definitely hangs around for a good three/four hours. Plus, the tin is so diddy it’s not a problem to carry this around with you, so the staying power isn’t a massive issue.

For me, I don’t think solid perfumes will ever replace bottled fragrances but I love the idea and I’ll definitely look out for more in the future. If anyone has any recommendations do let me know in the comments.

The Love Etc solid perfume doesn’t appear to be available on the Body Shop website at the moment, so do have a look in your local store to see if it’s still in stock, as it’s currently 50% off in the sale. But even at full price (£5) it’s a bargain.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Phil Smith Big It Up! Thickening Volume Cream

I’m not a huge user of hair products, if I’m honest. I’m quite lucky with my hair, in that it tends to behave itself and is pretty easy to style, so I try to use as few styling products as possible (aside from my beloved Moroccan Oil, which I’ve been using religiously for two years now).

That said, if there’s one area my hair does need help in it’s volume. As my hair is long and thick it can get dragged down and appear quite flat, so I have experimented with a few volumising products over the years. I haven’t found one in particular that I like enough to stick to so I’m always on the look up for something new to try. I was browsing the sales after Christmas and picked up the Big It Up! Thickening Volume Cream by Phil Smith from my local Sainsbury’s. It was half price so ended up costing me a mere £2.04.

This is the first Phil Smith product I’ve tried and, I have to say, I’m really impressed. As it was so cheap I wasn’t sure how well it work would, especially as I’ve tried some much pricier creams and sprays that haven’t done the job as well.

When I use this I roughly towel dry my hair to get rid of any excess water, then when my hair’s half dry I squeeze out a little bit, rub it between my palms and scrunch my hands through my hair from the tips to the roots. Once that’s done I either blow dry my hair or leave it to dry naturally – I find the results are the same whether I blow dry or not, which is nice as it means I don’t always have to use heat on my hair to create volume.

I really do notice a difference in my hair when I use this cream. It creates a nice little lift in my hair that really lasts between washes but it doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy or full of product. It smells lovely too! I wouldn’t say it makes my hair feel any thicker but for me that’s no issue as my hair’s already thick. I think this cream is perfect to give thick, heavy hair a subtle boost so I’d definitely recommend it to anybody looking for a cheap and easy way to revitalise a flat ‘do.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Olay Regenerist 3-Point Treatment Cream

I’ve spent the last few years searching for the perfect day time moisturiser for my skin. I’ve tried more expensive brands, cheaper brands, ‘miracle’ creams and homemade creams. I did settle on one of the Simple moisturisers for a while but I find that’s only suitable for my skin during warmer months when it doesn’t get quite so dry. I do get quite dry skin in the winter so I need something that’s quite thick and nourishing without taking too long to sink into my face or being greasy.

I’m very, very pleased to say I’ve finally found my perfect moisturiser, at long last. Enter the Olay Regenerist 3-Point Treatment Cream. I picked up one of these in the Amazon Black Friday sales and I’ve just repurchased it. I’m so happy with it and it’s so good for my skin that I’ve stopped my search – this is the moisturiser for me!

The formula is quite thick but it sinks into my skin beautifully and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. I find my make-up applies like a dream on top of it and it keeps my skin soft and moisturised all day long. It does a really great job of evening out my skin as well – my skin can be quite combination in the winter and it manages to moisturise the drier areas and mattify any oily areas, which is brilliant.

This is also an anti-ageing cream and promises that after four weeks you’ll notice a difference in areas prone to sagging, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and an increase in the elasticity and suppleness of the skin. While I (luckily) don’t really have any saggy facial areas yet (!), I have noticed that the little wrinkles around my eyes are reduced and my skin definitely feels more supple and smooth.

I honestly can’t recommend this one highly enough – the cream smells really lovely and it feels so luxurious. The tub lasts me for about three months so it’s great value for money. It retails for £30 at Boots but is available for £9.59 on Amazon, which is a complete bargain!

Have you ever used any Olay moisturisers? What’s your go-to day cream?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters

I don't feel like there's much I can say about these wonderful little lip butters that hasn't already been said but I'm so impressed with them; they're definitely one of the best lip products I've ever used and I know they'll be a staple in my make up bag for a very long time to come. I've gone and bit crazy buying them but each of the shades I've bought is absolutely gorgeous and, of the six I currently have, not one is a dud.

The formula is more moist and creamy than a traditional lipstick, so they act as a balm and a lipstick all in one - I don't find them at all drying, which is great news as I do often suffer from dry lips, especially in the winter. The colour pay off is brilliant, with each shade delivering high pigmentation and the collection is made up of a huge range of colours, from pale nudes to deep reds. I'm not a big fan of nudes (I don't think nude lipstick is the great way to go for full lips - or not for mine, at least) so I haven't tried any of those out but the richer colours look absolutely gorgeous.

The shades that I'll be reviewing today are Candy Apple, Berry Smoothie, Peach Parfait, Lollipop, Raspberry Pie and Sweet Tart. Before I start I wanted to show you a picture of my lips without any product on, for comparison with the swatches of each lip butter.

And so, onto the shades:

Candy Apple is a beautiful coral red that I'm completely in love with. I'm quite pale so dark reds can sometimes look a little too much on me, so this is the perfect shade. It's a great way to wear red without it looking too overpowering and I think it's a great colour to start with if you're a little nervous to go for a full on vixen red.

Berry Smoothie is a lovely neutral pink that I've been wearing to work for the last couple of weeks. It looks so subtle on the lips and I can't get enough of it. It has a subtle shimmer to it and goes with any sort of make up look, whether it's a neutral or a smokey eye.

Peach Parfait is a similar shade to Berry Smoothie but slightly more pale and with a little more shimmer. I feel like it's a bit more of an evening shade than Berry Smoothie, simply because of the shimmer.

Lollipop is a great deep pink shade; it is quite a vibrant fuchsia so I think it looks better with a more neutral eye but it's definitely one to wear if you want to stand out!

Raspberry Pie is a probably the most pigmented of all the shades I own and with one sweep across my lips the colour is absolutely saturated, which I love. It's a little darker than Lollipop and the berry tones make it look a little less in your face.

Sweet Tart is the perfect peachy pink for anybody who isn't a fan of shimmer. My lighting makes this one look quite shimmery but, as you can see from the photo of the lipstick itself, there isn't a fleck of shimmer in sight! Sweet Tart does look quite bright in the tube but it's much more muted on the lips, though it does deliver a lovely dash of pink.

The Lip Butters usually cost £7.99 but are currently available for £5 from Boots.

Have you guys tried any of the Revlon Lip Butters yet? I'm sure that's a silly question as everybody seems to be loving them! Which are your favourite shades? Are there any I don't have that you particularly recommend?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Review: The Maybelline Fit Me Range

I’ve always been a fan of Maybelline foundations and up until recently the Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid was my go-to. I was browsing some freebie websites last year and applied for a sample of the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation on a whim. I’ve always been happy with my Dream Satin so wasn’t particularly looking out for another foundation but I’m not one to turn down trying out a new product.

In case you haven’t seen or heard about the Fit Me range, it’s a numbered system that lets you know the perfect concealer and powder based on your foundation shade, which is supposed to give you an awesome little triforce of facial products that match your skin tone. I did get a tad confused, as the adverts I saw in my local Boots store gave me a different set of shades to my results on the website but after swatching each set of results I went with the below colour combination, which does seem perfect for my skin colour.

After receiving my foundation sample I fell in love with it so much I plonked all three products on my Christmas wishlist and was lucky enough to get given all three by my lovely boyfriend. I’ve been using these three for the last couple of weeks so I thought I’d do a joint review for the whole range.

The foundation (shade 115):

As I’m pasty as hell I opted for foundation shade 115, which is the light shade available – I never really realised I’m so pale but apparently so!

The foundation comes in a simple glass container and I really like the design and shape of the bottle. The lid could do with being a bit sturdier but as I take my sample tube if I want to reapply while I’m out and about this isn’t a problem for me.

The foundation is fairly light coverage and leaves an almost powdery finish after application. It’s a lovely, creamy formula and is so easy to apply and blend. It just melts into my skin and is such a perfect fit for my skin colour. I love this foundation so much; it’s hands down the best foundation I’ve ever used. It lasts all day long, even if I don’t use a primer, and it covers any dark circles or blemishes without masking my skin too much.

Even better, it’s only £7.99 and can be purchased here. If you only pick up one product from the Fit Me range make it the foundation!

The concealer (shade 10):

In matching packaging, the Fit Me concealer comes in a plastic tube with a doe foot wand applicator. I am a fan of the packaging for this range; it’s simple and, while it’s not particularly revolutionary, the products all look nice when lined up together.

The formula for the concealer is a little thicker than the foundation and I found it made my skin more matte and less glowy. As it’s thicker it does mask the skin more than the foundation – but I found I didn’t need to use very much concealer at all, as the foundation does such a great job of hiding blemishes.

I wouldn’t say there’s anything massively wrong with this concealer but it’s not as amazing as the foundation. I’m happy to keep using this but I’m not 100% sure whether or not I’ll repurchase. For me it doesn’t offer anything over a run of the mill concealer. The price is right, though, at a low £5.99 and it can be purchased here.

The powder (shade 120):

Unfortunately the Fit Me powder is my least favourite product out of the three. I was blown away by the foundation, pleased by the concealer but left distinctly underwhelmed by the pressed powder.

It comes in a plastic compact with a powder puff concealed underneath the powder, which is quite a nice touch. That said, I don’t really use the puff to apply the powder as I find it goes on better with a generic powder brush.

Sorry about the odd lighting with this one - it wouldn't behave!

While the powder certainly didn’t make my make up look cakey or patchy I don’t feel like it had any impact on my face. I might as well have left the foundation without any powder on top for all the good it does. I don’t tend to use much powder when it comes to my day to day make up, just enough to set my foundation and mattify any oily matches but after I apply the powder my face looks exactly the same as it did before.

I’ll carry on using this powder until it runs out but it’s not something I’ll repurchase as I’ve tried many pressed powders that are much, much better. The pressed powder retails at £5.99 and can be purchased here.

Final thoughts:

I like the packaging and the simplicity of this range; once you’ve found your foundation shade it is very simply to pick out the two matching products and I do find that the three shades of the foundation, powder and concealer all look perfect together.

When it comes to repurchasing the only one I’m likely to pick up again is the foundation, which I’ll definitely be buying! The concealer is worth a try for the price tag but I wouldn’t really recommend the powder, unless you’re looking for something very subtle.

Face full of Fit Me!