Thursday, 29 September 2011

Lipstick of the Week No. 8 - Bourjois Sweet Kiss Natural - Rose Innocence

I've decided to resurrect my lipstick of the week posts, because I seem to have acquired a lot of them recently and need to stop buying. I hate the expression 'shopping my stash' (it sounds like a euphemism for something faintly rude) but in blogging parlance, that's what I'll be doing.

First up is Bourjois Sweet Kiss Natural lipstick in Rose Innocence. I bought this in April or May and have been wearing it a lot for work. I'm not entirely sure what enticed me to buy it in the first place, since I don't really like the packaging and it has a slightly funny smell, but the colour totally makes up for it. It is a perfect daytime pink: not too warm, not too cool, not too bright but not non-existent either. Perfect my lips but better shade.

The texture is almost waxy, it isn't drying and lasts quite well so I find it great for daytime wear.

The Sweet Kiss lipsticks cost £7.99, which feels quite expensive for a brand like Bourjois, but since they're regularly on 3 for 2 you can get it cheaper. It has turned out to be worth that for me, and it's definitely one I'll repurchase when it's used up. Which probably won't be that long, since the photo of the tube was taken about six months ago, and I'm now 3/4 of the way through it....

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Current Haircare Routine

Unlike my skin, which I really don't get along with, I can pretty much do what I like to my hair.  It's strong, thick and grows quickly, so I can get away with chopping and changing my routine and products all the time, abuse it with heat styling, home dyeing and only getting it cut every six months, and somehow it manages to take it.

This is my current hair routine - but as soon as I've finished these things up I'm sure I'll be on to something else as I find it very difficult to stay faithful to haircare products.....

Shampoo - Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split End Protection Shampoo

Conditioner - Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split End Protection Conditioner

I quite like the relaunched Herbal Essences products, and have tried a few of them. I'm not convinced these can do anything to prevent split ends, but they are cheap, leave my hair feeling moisturised and silky, and smell good.

Intensive Treatment - V05 Miracle Concentrate

I had a small sample bottle of Moroccan Oil on the go for ages earlier this year but once it ran out, I haven't got round to buying a full size yet. I picked this up as a cheaper alternative, and I quite like it but I definitely prefer the Moroccan Oil. Might ask for a bottle of that for Christmas, but in the meantime this will do.

Serum - John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum

Probably the first serum I tried and it's the market leader for a reason. Always go back to this one.

Styling Cream - Wella High Hair Leave it Long Cream

This was an impulse TK Maxx purchase, but it turns out I love it! This is the perfect product for when I just want to blow dry and quickly straighten my hair, as it provides a little bit of hold and control without feeling sticky or greasy. Hoping there'll be some more of it there when I go back to try to get hold of some more.

Styling Spray - John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening Lotion

This is one of my most repurchased products, because whenever I can't quite decide what to go for, I just pick this up because I know I like it. It gives my roots a bit of bounce but doesn't leave my hair feeling overloaded with product.

Finishing Spray - Umberto Giannini Spa Rituals Indulgent Shine Spray

I find a little goes a long way with this on my hair, so I've had it on the go for quite a few months now (it appeared back in my May Favourites post) and I still love it for the shine and the scent.

Dry Shampoo - Tigi Catwalk Session Series Transforming Dry Shampoo

I'll be doing a separate review on this at some point because it's quite simply the best dry shampoo I've used. I'm not sure I can quite bring myself to spend this much money on dry shampoo when the sample I've got runs out, but it's bloody good stuff.

Hair Colour - L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss - Rich Espresso - this is a semi-permanent colour, and since I only want it to cover up my grey hairs (sob), this this the closest that I've found to my natural hair colour.  I use it about once a month, as colour does tend to fade or wash out quite quickly since I have to wash my hair at least every other day. 

If I'm straightening my hair, I'll use serum and a heat protection spray, then blow dry it over a paddle brush.  My hair is naturally very straight, so this gets it almost completely straight, but I go over it with the ghds to get rid of any kinks and frizzy bits.

If I'm curling my hair, I usually want a bit more 'oomph' so use quite a lot of volumising spray before blow drying it.  If I don't use quite a lot of product, I do find my hair can be a bit too 'slippery' to curl and style, and the John Frieda spray is great for giving it texture without making it feel crunchy.

What's in your haircare routine at the moment? Any wonder products I should know about?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Tried and tested: Lip Stains

Tried and you don't have to.

I'm currently loving lip stains and lip markers, and have a few on the go. The 'colouring in' aspect really appeals to me, as well as the fact that a stain will last a lot longer than a lipstick when I'm at work (when I'm generally drinking copious amounts of coffee).

So here's a brief round-up of those I've tried recently, along with some lip swatches.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Marker in 150 Tender Rose

I bought this one because it seemed to meet my criteria for a really natural looking lip stain, which might sound pointless, but is something I've been seeking for a while. However, it's my least favourite, unfortunately, although I love the light rosey pink colour. It's just a bit too patchy, and I had to go over my lips quite a few times before it looked properly filled in.

It smells faintly fruity, lasts well and I do like the colour, I just wish it wasn't so patchy. I haven't tried any of the other colours in the range, so maybe it's confined to the lighter shades, but the finish just wasn't quite opaque enough for me.

Price: £5.99
Overall Verdict: 3/5

Max Factor Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tint in 03 Pink Princess

I've actually reviewed this on my blog before and had forgotten about it for a while before rediscovering it in my lipstick drawer. So the good news is - it doesn't dry out quickly! Although the colours look very similar, this is much more of a berry pink than the Maybelline. It was less patchy than the Maybelline too, but it does have a bit of a chemically smell.

The lasting power is pretty good, it certainly lasted half a day at work before I felt the need to go over the colour again. An all round pretty good lip stain, but nothing amazing.

Price: £7.99
Overall Verdict: 4/5

Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Sangria

This was my favourite of the three by a mile, although it's not a typical colour choice for me. Sadly, it's the most expensive, but I think it's worth it. It didn't have the same patchiness as the other two, and I only had to go over my lips once to get full colour coverage. I also loved the addition of a tinted balm in the same shade, which gives you the option to go for a more natural look during the day and then ramp it up in the evening.

The staying power was very impressive. So much so, that's it's almost a downside. If you put this on, you have to commit to it. Because if you change your mind and want to wipe it off, you're going to struggle! It was about as drying as the other two, but the addition of the balm means you can add a bit of moisture to your lips if you feel them getting a bit tight, without having to carry a separate lip balm around with you.

I've knocked off half a mark since it would have been better if the balm twisted up into the tube. I'm a bit worried about breaking it off because it's all out all the time, if that makes sense, and I think it would get used up quickly with regular wear. Oh, and I would have liked it to be a bit cheaper, but you can't have everything.

Price: £21.50
Overall Verdict: 4.5/5

Are you loving lip stains this year? The only other lip marker I've seen that has a balm too is the Revlon one, has anyone tried this?

*Smashbox was a PR sample, the others were bought by me.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Chanel Face and Shoulder Bling

I've been meaning to photograph the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadow in Illusoire (that featured in my haul post) all this week. I will get some daylight swatches eventually, but in the absence of those - here it is featured in a really quick FOTN from Saturday.

Although the flash washes it out so you can't really tell, I also used the Chanel Rose Ecrin blush. I bought this because it was a gorgeous soft pink with a very fine shimmer, and I like to go slightly softer with my blusher in the winter. I love my bright pinks, peaches and corals in the summer, but I much prefer a softer blusher in autumn and winter.

Products used:

FACE - Max Factor Xperience Weightless Foundation 40 Light Ivory; MAC MSFN (Light Medium); Illamasqua Powder Blush  (Rumour - to contour); Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush Rose Ecrin

EYES - Illamasqua Cream Pigment (Mould - as base); Chanel Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadow (Illusoire); MAC Eyeshadow (Black Tied, Solar White); Clinique High Impact Mascara (Black); MAC Fluidline (Black); Eyelure Cosmopolitan freebie false lashes

LIPS - Prestige Lip Liner (Silk); Revlon Matte Lipstick (Pink Pout)

This Warehouse black dress is my new fallback dress, i.e. the one I've been putting on for nights out when I just can't be bothered to think what to wear. Which has been every weekend. It also has the added advantage of shoulder bling - for when you don't have time to remember jewellery. Which I never do.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Sleek Saturday 4: Au Naturel for Autumn

The latest Sleek palette launched last week, and despite promising myself I wasn't going to buy any more....I bought it. I'm back in my comfort zone with this week's Sleek Saturday, the palette in question is the Au Naturel palette from the Nude collection, which features a range of neutral matte and shimmer shades. I've read a few reviews which didn't really rate the lighter matte shades, but have used them all this week and didn't think they were bad at all. The colour payoff was pretty decent over a good base, and the darker shades have great pigmentation, especially Regal - which is like MAC Sketch but twice as good. I'll be using that colour a lot.