Thursday, 26 July 2012

Product Empties

Another week, another load of finished products!

I know some bloggers/youtubers do these kind of posts on a monthly basis, but mine are more as-and-when, as i'm *trying* to be good and use up products before I buy any more!

These particular types of posts/videos have really taken off recently (I used to call mine 'product use ups - would I buy again?'), and I think they are a really good way of not only obtaining reviews/opinions of products on the part of the reader/watcher, but also letting yourself see (as the reviewer) what products you really do like and go through the most.

♥ FCUK Signature Body Butter - I am a bit of a body lotion junkie, and can safely say that this is the first ever body 'butter' that does indeed have a texture like butter! I could put my finger in it and it almost felt quite 'spongey' and was very luxurious and thick (it contains almond oil and shea butter) but yet sunk in quite quickly. I also loved the smell - if you love oriental, woody, almost maculine scents, then you will love this - it is described as a combination of musky woody base and enticing floral bouquet, topped off with a hint of vanilla on the Boots website. Would I buy again? I didn't actually buy this - it came as part of a set for Christmas I think it was - but I would consider getting some again, especially if I saw it on special offer somewhere (RRP is around £6 for 200ml - I'm used to paying about £2 for my Palmers Cocoa butter!)

♥ Lush Ultrabland facial cleanser - I never used to 'get' the obsession with Lush ("£4 for a bath bomb? You must be mad" I used to scoff), and I can't remember what the exact turning point was, but I have well and truely been bitten by the Lush bug and now i'm OBSESSED and want to try anything and everything offered by them!
I was on the hunt for a new cleanser to try after I finished my Naked Skincare cleanser (in my last Product Empties post here) and decided to pick up this smaller version (Ultrabland is available  in 45g and 100g pot sizes). Ideal if you want something you can smear all over your face to remove makeup and cleanse at once (yes, that's me, i'm lazy), Ultrabland is quite heavy and rather oily, and you will need to remove it with a muslin cloth or similar - cotton wool pads will just fall at the first hurdle! Would I buy again? I can imagine this is a product that i'd like to use in the winter months when my skin is dry and needing some TLC. It feels slightly too heavy for my skin right now whilst it's rather sweltering outside (at last!).

♥ Lush It's Raining Men Shower Gel - (I told you i've been bitten by the Lush bug!) This was a bit of an impulse buy as i've heard so many things about it and like to use nice things in the shower! I personally wasn't bowled over by it (and Lee really didn't like it!) but I didn't hate it or anything - it's a perfectly nice, honey-based scent - I just personally don't see what the hype is! Would I buy again? Probably not, especially when it costs £4.25 for a small100g bottle.

♥ Naked Skincare Up Tone Girl Toner - Toner has become a staple product in my skincare routine, largely because I like to doubly check i've remover all my makeup and cleanser. I picked up this particular one from Naked Skincare some time ago along with the cleanser and eye gel. I like the Naked Skincare range, not least because they don't test on animals, try to use organic/natural ingredients as much as they can and are very affordable. I also like their quirky product names and packaging designs. This toner did the job in terms of ensuring all cleanser/makeup was removed, but in terms of any other 'jobs' (for example I thought the witch hazel would help with spots), it didn't seem to do much. Would I buy again? If it was on offer I might consider it, but I have since discovered what could be my holy grail toner (from Lush, surprise surprise!) and am enjoying using it right now.

♥ Thierry Muglar Angel EDP - My favourite, favourite, favourite perfume, and one which I try not to go through too much of but seem to quite a lot, much to the other half's dismay (it isn't the cheapest of perfumes)! Would I buy again? Yes - or preferably get someone else to buy it for me!
♥ Illamasqua Freak EDP sample - This one is a bit of a cheat, being a sample 'n' all (and did only take me about 2 uses worth to finish it), but it's 'an empty' so it's being included! It's a bit of a weird one this perfume: when I first wore it I did NOT like it - it seemed rather mumsy, boring and quite frankly not unlike synthetic air freshner (according to the Illamasqua website it is a concoction of dangerously exotic unconventional flowers that Illamasqua has unashamedly blended together to celebrate the night)! - but it seemed to change once it settled and I even received a couple of compliments on it. Would I buy again? I might add the free sample to my online basket should it ever be offered again, but I wouldn't fork out £59 for the 75ml bottle!

♥ No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara - Is it just me, or do No7 have the biggest mascara range ever?! They always seem to be coming out with a new mascara...This particular one is a 'sample' size that was included in a promotional gift set (again at Christmas. I've got gift sets coming out my ears during the festive period!) and i've only just got round to using/finishing it. As you can see from the bottom photo, it's got 3 different 'facets' to the plastic brush head, but to be honest I didn't notice any great difference in application when using one side to another. The mascara formulation itself is pretty standard too - I wasn't particularly blown away! Would I buy again? No - probably not even if I had a No7 £5 off voucher, as even with this discount it would still be about £7 and for an 'ok', bog-standard mascara I wouldn't want to fork out that much!

What have you used up this month?

Melanie x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Review: Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

I am admittedly not the best at applying eyeliner (despite watching countless 'how to's' on YouTube), but as they do say that practise makes perfect, and as a result I go through quite a lot of eyeliner!

For my upper eyelids I rely heavily on liquid liner, as I find that gel liners dry out before I get to use them properly (and i'm still searching for the perfect application brush) and pencil liners, whilst fine for a smokey, smudged look at nighttime, don't give a precise finish.

I have yet to find a 'Holy Grail' eyeliner (as with the majority of my makeup products!) and so have tried a variety from various (mainly highstreet) brands, with this one being the latest (bought for me by my lovely Mum):

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

♥ RRP £5.99
♥ Sold from 'usual' stockists including Superdrug, Boots and supermarkets

'Felt tip' style - my favourite type of liquid eyeliner applicator, as it is far less messy than a brush and allows for continuous eyeliner flow when applying both fine and thicker eyeliner styles.
♥ 0.4mm brush tip - not as fine a tip as the L'Oreal Carbon Gloss eyeliner, for example, but still allows for precise application.
♥ Replaceable cap - I would have liked this to fit on the end of the eyeliner packaging like a standard felt tip pen lid would, as I am often in danger of losing the lid if I drop it on the floor!
♥ Despite the lid and Maybelline's various claims that the packaging has been designed to prevent the product drying out, I have found if I don't store this correctly (i.e. lid side downwards) it can seem to have dried out.

Shade/Finish/Staying Power
♥ At the moment (as far as I am aware) this eyeliner is only available in black.
♥ Not the most pigmented of eyeliners i've ever tried
♥ Matte finish - not glossy or shimmery
♥ This is by no means an 'unbudgeable' eyeliner - it has an annoying habit of transferring to my eyelids if I haven't used a primer, or if I get a bit hot and sweaty (nice), and as the day goes on I do find it wears off on the inner corners of my eyes or gloops up in my tear ducts. Lovely.

Cruelty Free?
NO - Maybelline still carry out testing on animals.

What's the Verdict?
This is another one of those 'ok' products that will do me for now.
I wouldn't say it's worth £5.99, and I wouldn't repurchase it once it runs out.
One only for the Maybelline die hards I would say!

What eyeliner would you recommend I try next?

Melanie x

Monday, 23 July 2012

Review: ELF Hypershine Lipgloss - Bubblegum

If there's one thing I probably have too much of, makeup wise, it's probably lipgloss, but when I took advantage of ELF's 30% off sale, I couldn't help adding this to my basket to try, and at £1.50 (or just over £1 if you take into account the discount!) it wasn't going to break the bank!

Hyper, glass-like shine infused with micro-mirror technology to reflect light. Conditioning shine lasts for hours. (ELF website)

♥ Plastic packaging - can feel a little flimsy and isn't as good a quality as the Studio line of products, but for £1.50 I can't really complain.
♥ Brush applicator - can help for more precise application than a doe foot applicator.
♥ Twist up mechanism/design - I don't mind this as a means of dispensing the product, although things inside the lid can get messy after use!

♥ ELF have likened the scent of this to cotton candy, but it strongly reminds me of plasticine!
♥ Quite a subtle smell - thankfully!

♥ Very thick/'gloopy' - this is definitely not a gloss you want to wear on a windy day if your hair is down!
♥ I am all for a thick gloss, as it does extend the staying power, but I almost find this 'uncomfortable' to wear - it is not a gloss I can apply without a mirror as I get paranoid I would be left with unblended lipgloss lumps on my lips! Lovely.

Shade/Finish/Staying Power
♥ Very sheer baby pink
♥ No glitter or shimmer - simply glossy finish
♥ Quite pretty when worn by itself - adds a nice sheen to lips
♥ If the texture was a bit more workable i'd imagine it would look lovely over nude/pink lipsticks, but as I find it quite 'lumpy' I tend to find it looks a bit odd layered!
♥ As this is uber thick it does stay on quite a while, even after eating/drinking, but you do end up with a lovely thick layer of gloss on your mugs/cups etc.

Whats the Verdict?
This is an 'ok' gloss, but I don't think i'll buy it again.
As with the majority of ELF products, you get very little product (I guess that's why they can afford the low prices!), and as I am a compulsive gloss user, i'll finish this very quickly!

Have you tried the Hypershine glosses?

Melanie x


Friday, 20 July 2012

Review: ELF Studio Blusher - Twinkle Pink

I think I was one of the few people who didn't take advantage of the 50% off sale that ELF had recently (*pat on the back for frugality though!*), although I did make some purchases in their earlier 30% sale a few months back, including the focus of today's (mini) review:

Studio Blusher - Twinkle Pink

I took a bit of a gamble choosing this particular shade, as ELF are notoriously bad with the 'swatches' on their website (in that they often turn out to be  nothing like the real product!), but I am so glad I picked it as I LOVE it .

I have never seen the infamous Nars 'Orgasm' in real life, but (from what i've heard/read), this is very similar to it: a rose blush with gold shimmer through it which has a lovely warming effect on the skin.

(This one shows the 'sparkle' more)

The packaging is also very similar to that of the Nars product (sleek, black, rectangular), the major difference being price: 'Orgasm' is a hefty £21 for 4.8gof product, whilst 'Twinkle Pink' (I just love that name) is only £3.75 for 2.75g.

The shimmer runs all the way through the product and doesn't just sit on the top (17 cheek products i'm looking at you!), and I would say if you're more of a matt-effect person you won't like this: whilst the gold shimmer particles aren't huge, in-your-face pieces, they aren't as finely milled as a Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks, for example.

However I personally love this blusher. It adds a lovely healthy glow and the staying power is pretty amazing.

Crappy iPhone pic. Blush is much warmer (and my skin not so stark white!) in real life.

I'm definitely going to add a few more Studio Blushers to my collection.

Would you recommend any shades?

Melanie x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

What's in my everyday makeup bag?

As I was applying my makeup the other day, I realised that i've been tending to use the same 'failsafe' products on a regular basis.

Whilst I do have a small mountain of other beauty products that I keep in various places (it is not uncommon to open a drawer and find a lipgloss or hair product!) and use on occasion, these are the makeup pieces that i've been using on a daily basis.
(Makeup bag: Primark)


Clockwise: Real Techniques Starter Set | ELF Studio Powder brush | ELF Studio Blusher Brush | Real Techniques Blusher Brush | Real Techniques Powder Blush | Bobbi Brown Dual Ended Blending/Cream Eyeshadow Brush | Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Brush | Bobbi Brown Eye Defining Brush | Bobbi Brown Large Eyeshadow Brush

Face (Base)
Clockwise from top: ELF Mist & Set | Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer | Estee Lauder Double Wear Light | Estee Lauder Maximum Cover | Benefit "That Gal" Primer

♥ ELF Mist & Set - Many have compared this as a dupe to Mac's Fix+, and i've never tried the latter, but basically the idea behind this is that is a fine mist spray that helps set your makeup. I wouldn't say it keeps my makeup as perfect as it initially is on application, but I do notice when I don't apply it, and it does help stop patchy foundation! [CRUELTY FREE]

♥ Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer - like many popular beauty products, every blogger and their Gran seemed to be talking about this concealer at one point. I don't use it under my eyes as I find it settles into any fine lines, but when applied with the Real Techniques eyeshadow brush over spots/blemishes, it is amazing!

♥ Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation - I bought this a while ago because I remember using it previously and liking it, but this time around i'm not so sure. Being 'Double Wear' I would expect it to be invincible like the original Double Wear, but this does fade/go patchy on me.

♥ Estee Lauder Maximum Cover Foundation - This is meant to be a foundation, but i've been using it as a heavy duty concealer!

♥ Benefit "That Gal" Primer - One of the freebies in Glamour Magazine, I have been using this when I remember to put it on before my foundation! I've only used it a couple of times so can't properly vouch for it, but it does brighten my skin when I use it.


ELF Studio Blusher in Twinkle Pink | Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Pink Quartz

♥ ELF Studio Blusher in Twinkle Pink - I LOVE this blusher. I have been using it every day since I got it (and I have quite a collection of blushers to choose from!). It's the perfect warm-toned pink shot through with rose gold shimmery particles (if you don't like fine milled glitter i'd avoid this) and its just perfect! I plan on doing a better, more detailed review on this. [CRUELTY FREE]

♥ Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose Quartz - review here. 'Nuff said!

Clockwise from top: Urban Decay Naked Palette | Urban Decay Primer Potion (depotted) | Garnier Roll-On | Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliners | No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara (Sample) | Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner | Tweezers | ELF Studio Brow Kit in Ash | Duo Eyelash Glue | ELF Dramatic False Eyelashes (well the box - I had the lashes on!)

♥ Urban Decay Naked Palette - I much prefer this palette to the Naked Palette 2, as the warmer tones seem to suit my skin tone better. It has been spoken about so many times on blogs and so forth, but I love it as it has both 'day' and 'night' shades contained in the one portable palette.[CRUELTY FREE]

♥ Urban Decay Primer Potion (I made a post on how to depot these safely here) - I have slightly hooded/oily eyelids, and this makes sure my eyeshadow does.not.budge. I was gutted when Urban Decay were possibly going to sell in China (and therefore start testing on animals) but now they're not, I can reuse and repurchase this guilt free! .[CRUELTY FREE]

♥ Garnier 2 in 1 eye roll on - I originally reviewed this away back in March 2011, and belive it or not, it is still going strong more than a year later! I like the cooling effect of the metal rollerball (I'm thinking I might keep it in my fridge), and the concealer helps brighten up the eye area.

♥ Barry M Bold Waterproof eyeliners - Another product that I plan to review in the future, I bought these when they were on 3 for 2 as i'm constantly searching for a waterline eyeliner that stays put. Beautiful vibrant colours that don't move on the skin! .[CRUELTY FREE]

♥ No7 Exceptional Defintion Mascara - I got this in one of the promotional gift sets around Christmas time, and am trying to use it up. It has a plastic wand which is longer on one side, shorter on the other and has a funny bit at the top for use on inner/indivdual lashes. It's an 'ok' mascara, but as I am an avid false lash wearer, it doens't bother me that much that it doesn't give huge lashes!

♥ Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner - Maybelline have jumped on the bandwagon for 'felt tip' style eyeliners, and whilst I do like this eyeliner for that, it is very easily transferable and not one i'd buy again.

♥ ELF Studio Brow Kit in Ash - I don't use the 'powder' side of this eyebrow duo set (i'm not entirely sure what it's for!) but I have nearly used up the 'gel'-type side of it. I use it with the Bobbi Brown eye defining brush (very sturdy bristles ideal for eyebrow gel application) and the colour of it helps fill in my brows without looking obvious..[CRUELTY FREE]

♥ Duo Eyelash Adhesive - speaks for itself really!

♥ ELF Dramatic Eyelashes - my favourite falsies at the moment, and ones that I have previously reviewed here...[CRUELTY FREE]


Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Lipbalm | Maxfactor Max Effect Lipgloss
(both of these aren't actually in my makeup bag above - these are just a sample of what I keep in my handbag!)

♥ Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Lipbalm - I bought this as part of a set (along with a 30ml tube of the 8 Hour Cream) from Fragrance Direct, as I LOVE the 8 hour cream and had previously been using it as a lipbalm. The cream in an actual lipbalm im not so impressed with and I'm not entirely sure why!

♥ Maxfactor Max Effect Lipgloss - I think i've mentioned this before, but i'm not a big fan of Maxfactor. Why this lipgloss then you may ask, but it was actually a present, and in an attempt to be frugal I am trying to plough my way through any 'excess' lipglosses before buying more! As far as lipglosses go, its a fairly non-offensive nude/baby pink gloss with quite a high shine, but does wear off rather quickly.

So that's what's in my daily makeup bag -what's in yours?

Melanie x