Saturday, 29 May 2010

American Apparel Nail Lacquer Review

J'deteste OPI polishes. Yes, controversial and a rather negative start to a review but that's how I feel. I think they are over rated, expensive and i've yet to get more than 3 days out of an OPI manicure.

In fact all of the higher priced nail polishes have let me down. Dior I found to be watery and poor in colour depth even with 3 coats, Ruby and Millie chipped within half hour of applying and Nails Inc, pah! don't even get me started on Nails Inc polishes.

The thing is I am a girl who ALWAYS has my nails painted. You will NEVER see me without polish on my nails mainly due to a strange OCD I have but also because it looks so pretty. As long as nails are neat and tidy who cares about greasy hair, blemishes or creased clothes!

So as you can imagine I go through ALOT of nail products. I have tried literally every brand you could think of...apart from American Apparel. I was so shocked that this sneaky little polish or 'lacquer' range had passed me by. I owe the discovery to my wonderful man for taking me in to get yet another V neck T. Shirt (he has about 15 of the same). But all was not lost as I saw the array of perfectly uniformed little colourful soldiers looking at me through the cabinet saying 'buy me dear lady, please buy me?'.

So i did, and here's the Review.

Colour- very much reminded me of Essie with their less obvious creamy colour range. I bought Mouse which is a dirty ashy grey brown colour (you would either love it or hate it) Maybe a paler version of Essies Mink Muffs and a greyer version of OPI you don't know Jacques. The colour is lovely just my cup of tea. Unusual but classy at the same time.

Price - £5 each or 3 for £12...cheap!

Application - Hmmm this is where Mr Mouse lets me down, it's strange because it's not a watery product yet the colour pay off is naff. It is a 3 coater (which really adds up to a 5 coater with base and top coat...seriously who has time for that!? I certainly don't!)

Durability - Weak!! flecks and chips at the drop of a hat. After all that work of applying 100 coats (slight exaggeration) it still chipped the day after! The product is DBP, Toulene and Formaldehyde free...whatever that means! Maybe that's why it has the staying power of a Tinkerbell nail polish.

All in all very disappointed, the colour had great potential and prior to using it I was already deciding what colours i would buy on the next visit. I was sure it would be everything I wanted it to be and more. I know some people are hesitant to buy beauty products from a fashion reatailer, I used to be but after finding Urban Outfitters polishes AMAZING I lost my fear...maybe I should have stayed hesitant, maybe Urban Outifitters Sparkle and Fade was just a fluke? I will not be buying more American Apparel Lacquers it's just not worth the effort when China Glaze and Barry M are cheaper and last so much better.

I've added some pictures but they were took using Photobooth on the Macbook so the quality is really poor. Forgive me! You can get the general vibe of what the colour ended up as.

poor poor quality pics

Friday, 28 May 2010

Sex and the City 2......aaaahhhh words can't describe

Hello all, This is just a quick post to express the sheer happiness I feel after watching it.

The ladies are back!!! I won't give the plot away but can I just say, for me the styling for this movie was even better than the last movie. Shot in Abu Dhabi, you can imagine what Eastern delights the ladies wore.

It gave me goosebumps and made me laugh out loud several times. Oh Carrie I adore you. Why don't men share the same obsession that females have with SJP. I think she is stunning yet all males I know think she looks like a *gasp* horse!

All 4 characters were fabulous and I am left with severe SATC withdrawals at the ghastly prospect that there may be no more : (

In the mean time it has evoked my love of the show and I am dusting off the box sets in a bid to live the High fashion New york lifestyle whilst sat in my cosy home in my PJ's.

Carrie I salute you!

Monday, 24 May 2010

My very first FOTD..be gentle

Ok so here goes....I've only just cracked the code so I thought I would participate. By no means an adventurous look, a very natural look for a hot summers day at work. I save my vavavoom looks for the weekend!


FACE -
Revlon PhotoReady Foundation (cool beige)
ELF High Definition Powder
Soap and Glory Solar Powder used as a contour
MAC Mineralize blush (Nuance)
ELF Shimmer palette (peachy colour) Cheeks, inner corner of the eye


EYES
ELF Mineral primer (Sheer)
MAC Vanilla eye shadow on Lid
Urban Decay Smog in the crease and along lower lash line
Max Factor Lash extension Mascara in Black
Soap and Glory Arch de Triumph -Brows

LIPS-
Dior Gloss (418 Lychee Noisette)

Phew....a lot of products for a natural look, but of course I know you all understand ; ) 




Friday, 21 May 2010

ELF Review - Cheap and Cheerful or just Cheap

I have resisted the temptation to buy any kind of ELF product due to the fact that I anticipated it to be rubbish to be quite honest. For those who are unfamiliar with ELF it is a very cheap online make up store. 

Now I am no make up snob, I just like to know that the products I buy and use will do what they say and should do and I like to know that I'm not going to experience any kind of skin condition whilst using them. 

To escape their teeny bopper market ELF launched a 'Studio' professional range which has products not dissimilar to the MAC studio range and the packaging is definately a much cheaper take on NARS. But all that aside i bit the bullet and placed an order...eeeeeeekkkk!

My reasoning behind scraping the make up barrel was due to feeling uber guilty about the amount of money I spend on cosmetics. I have been making a conscious effort to try and find a cheaper product which does the same job.

So here goes, I bought:

  • Studio high definition loose powder ...hoping this would be just like MAC Studio finishing powder
  • All over colour stick (Golden Peach)...wanted this to be NARS the multiple
  • Lip gloss (Joy)....just because a girl can never have enough glosses
  • Studio Mineral eye shadow Primer....hoped this would be a dupe for Urban decay primer potion
  • Studio Shimmer Palette..I anticipated that this would do the job of Benefit High Beam and Moon Beam 


THE REVIEW!!!! Dun Dun dunnnnn.....


I was very pleasantly surprised!! 

The High definition powder looks exactly like the MAC product, a scary bright white. BUT it comes with a lovely soft puff, it's easy to apply and the results are fabulous. It eliminates shine without that horrible matte look that powder usually gives. It sets foundation perfectly and the tub is quite big, like the MAC product you only need a teeny tiny bit, best of all it was £6. It is essentially a setting powder so if you are wanting to conceal blemishes then this would not be for you. On the whole wow! 

Next, the all over colour stick, hmmmm it's certainly no multiple but it may have it's uses. It would be ok as a highlighter possibly when I'm more tanned or as colour wash on the eye. It certainly doesn't deserve any rave reviews. The packaging is naff aswel but for about £2 it is an ok buy. I'll let it fester with my other 'I don't love you' products.

Lip gloss...HORRID, VILE, RANCID. No pigment, toxic smell, disgusting taste, sticky texture...in the bin!!!

Moving on to the eye primer. I wanted to give it the ultimate test. Shopping in Manchester city centre, on a Saturday, in the baking sunshine, after a Primark Haul, with an 8 month old baby. Now that is some test! 4 hours later my eyes were still as when I left the house in the morning. It is a really good product, it eliminates creasing even with cream shadows. At first I though it was a bit 'wet' but when it blends into the eye it does leave a residue which seems to grab the colour and hold on for dear life. Thumbs up!

The shimmer Palette was a whopping winner, it comes with four shades (not very clear on the swatches due to my novice skills on photography). The shades are actually pearly white, peach, gold and pink. Swatched in order of the palette. I was so pleased with these babies I have used them everyday since getting them. They can be used anywhere. Great as a highlighter (yes they do give Benefit a run for their money), fab on the eye for a fresh summer look (no creases), in the corner of the eye, brow bone, cupids bow, lips, decolletage, shoulders...you get the picture. I will definately stock up on this, I have already dented it after 
only 5 days with my eager consumption. Love it. Also comes with a cute lil brush which is useful unlike most cheap brushes. It is the perfect size for highlighting your cupids bow and inner corner of the eye for a pow wide awake look (essential after 4 hours sleep). 



To wrap up this rather long blog, I hope I've not bored you, I spent under £20 including delivery. I'm not exactly sure how much each product was but I know the most expensive was the High def powder at £6....bargain!

I think ELF is probably a line which has some great products and some darned revolting products. Maybe it's a case of trial and error. Does anyone have any ELF recommendations for me to try, or some ELF Hell No's to warn me about? 





Thursday, 20 May 2010

SRR - Sunshine Related Rituals

Hooray for the sunshine! Alas the dreary grey, cold, wet weather is making way for some beautiful rays. Living in The North of England does have it's downsides i.e. Terrible weather. BUT the past few days I have actually dusted off the old flip flops and got out the sunnies. 

There are certain rituals which i must do every year in order to enjoy the British summertime also known as that one sunny week in May. 

1. PEDICURE, I do my own because I am so fussy about having any treatments done I rarely put my trust in the hands of anyone else other than my best friend who is coincidentally a beauty therapist. 

2. PURCHASE NEW SHADES, SANDALS AND BANGLES, summer just isn't summer unless you jangle everywhere you go

3. PLATINUM, I am already very light blonde but summer is a brilliant excuse to max up the blondie factor

4. NAILS, instead of using my usual ink, ruby or black cherry i have been wearing pinks, lilacs, blues and corals. China Glaze Mediterranean Charm and 'number seven' (limited edition product line for No 7) in starlet stockings are my current favourites, both are lovely bright red shades which look amazing with a tan

5. TAN, it has got to be without a doubt my all time favourite Fake Bake Beyond Bronze mousse which retails at about £20 but you can get it online for about £10. 

As a beauty blog follower it surprises me that this little beauty isn't mentioned more. I have occasionally cheated on my beloved beyond bronze with mr st tropez, master xen tan and the original fake bake but none of them touch the almighty beyond bronze. 
I have applied this after 1 or...ahem 2 bottles of  adult grape juice aka wine, at midnight, rolled into bed and i have NEVER experienced streaks, patches or the dreaded revolting hand-foot vileness. As if it couldn't get any better it fades super even doesn't smell like weetabix and dries in minutes. The colour beats st tropez hands down! If anyone hasn't tried this i would totally recommend especially if you are a tanning virgin. 


Does anybody else have any beauty must haves for the summer??

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Famous make up looks which inspire me

There are certain images which spring to mind when I think of creating a new look. These images never change and I believe will always always be up there on my list of most inspirational make up looks. 


Marilyn Monroe was known for her sensual red lips, flawless skin and heavily lined eyes to create a sultry come to bed look. A look which is still copied to date, personally I have yet to find a shade of red that I feel truly comfortable wearing, although they say there is a red to suit every skin tone, for me the search continues. 



The next looks are by far my favourites, Twiggy and Edie Sedgwick, the sex kittens of the 60's. Twiggy with her doe eyes, doll like lashes and washed out lips created an all new 'look' which comes back around again and again. 


  

Edie Sedgwick was a 60's Socialite known as Andy Warhol's Muse. Her 'look' a messier darker version of Twiggy. Heavily lined black eyes were often smudged and untidy with thick false lashes, a look not too disimilar to the grungier smoky looks which are often evident on the catwalks. Edie is one 
of my favourite style icons, bleached cropped hair, fur coat, black eyes and chandelier earings....perfection! 











(Left Image Paul Smith Catwalk Fall/Winter 09)










Now my next choice may shock and horrify you but I can not ignore the beautiful contouring and play on colour that Boy George and his new romantic pals brought to the 80's. In fact I know certain men in my family who shall remain unamed actually referred to Boy George's debut on TOTP as 'she's a bit of alright!'......



The 'Boy George' look is still seen in many MAC collection promos, even recently for Barbie loves MAC.















This final lady is perhaps single handedly responsible for the soaring sales of self tan products and bronzers. Sun kissed, tanned, golden, even 'orange' as the haters may call it. Shimmery beautiful smoky eyes, tanned skin, highlighted cheekbones/brown bone and of course nude lips et voila, sexy latina look! 




Tuesday, 11 May 2010

To buy or not to buy..that is the question!

Imagine the scenario, MAC have just launched a limited edition juicy got to have latest colour coral lipstick. The only problem is you have exhausted all of your allocated 'treat' allowance for the month. Sweat starts to prickle on your top lip, heart is racing, mouth getting dry flashes of 'OUT OF STOCK' and 'DISCONTINUED' race through your mind when the beautifully made up lips sincerely utter from behind the MAC station, 'do you need anything else today?'......

My very first blog….where do I begin?
I feel that I should introduce myself, I am a 24 year old girl who has been addicted to all things cosmetic related for 21 years. While other girls were asking their mums or their big sisters at age 9 to paint their nails, I was building up my very own client base (Grandma, Mother, Aunty).
As my security blanket I did a degree in Business Management but make up is sill at the forefront of one's mind.
So where were we, oh yes at the MAC counter drooling over the latest shade wondering if you have the strength to say ‘no, that’s it for today thank you kindly’.
Not only do I feel this pressure/anxiety in the amazing environment that is MAC, I often get the same feeling in Superdrug, Boots and dare I say the local chemist.
I find myself justifying my latest buys for example, I HAD to have the new Revlon Gems in Jewels eye shadow quad but as Revlon were on 3 for 2 why not try the Photo Ready foundation (FABULOUS) and heck the pink pout lipstick will be free! Well I did make my own lunch all last week and I have stopped smoking (filthy habit) and I’m on a no takeaway/fast food/eating out regime so if anything I will have saved loads of money even after buying my new 3 products……..