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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Quickie Review: Revlon Colourburst Lip Glosses in Embellished and Adorned

Revlon Autumn Lipglosses

Revlon brought out these two beauties in time for AW13 and I swooped down them when I saw them on a Buy One, Get One Half Off offer a couple of weeks ago.

Revlon Autumn Lipglosses 2

The plum is ‘Embellished’ and the pink is ‘Adorned’ – there’s apparently also a nude called ‘Bejewelled’ which I haven’t seen on stands at all. Embellished is the perfect gloss colour for Autumn and I was really keen to get it home and start layering with it!


Revlon Embellised
Revlon Embellished with a liner
Layered over a plum liner

Not as scary as it looks in the tube, this is shot through with a purple shimmer and gives a gorgeous vampy look without being too heavy. I love, love, love how it looks over a liner as well – luscious!


Revlon Adorned

My friend Rachael text me to tell me about this gloss, and she loves a bright pink so I knew I had to check it out. It’s so hard to capture, but this is SO bright in real life. It’s an almost neon, lit-from-within kind of look and I utterly adore it.

I’m super, super impressed with these glosses and now I want to try out more! I really like how precise the applicator is on this as well – I’d never tried these glosses before and now I’m really excited to try more if they’re all this good! The texture is very smooth and glides on easily, and a thin layer gives you the colour and shine shown above. They wear pretty nicely without getting sticky or gummy.

Colourburst lipglosses cost £7.99 and can be found in Boots and Superdrug.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Quickie Review: Kryolan Mini Liprouge Palette in L2

Kryolan Mini Liprouge Palette in L2

I couldn’t wait to play with this so you’ve got a swatched picture – sorry! I bought this from another makeup artist for a bargain price after she’d swatched it and never used it. I was really excited to get it in the mail as I’d seen it before but hadn’t a chance to play with it, plus this had five green and blue lip colours in and I love those sorts of shades!

Kryolan have lots of mini palettes for lipsticks, concealers etc., the idea being that you can test things out easily, compare the colours and then you can buy the ones you need. A lot of artists will use them in their kit as they’re so light and compact, but this version comes with a clear lid which I’ve found to break pretty easily. (Some other versions of the lip palettes do have a sturdier lid.)


I swatched all the colours above with a cotton bud – I couldn’t deal with swatching them all on my lips! Most colours are on the thin side but all are pigmented – only the white wasn’t as pigmented as I would like it to be. LP647, the shade in the left hand bottom corner of the palette, is actually a beautiful duo-chrome rose gold sort of colour.

L. Lilac
L. Lilac with Gold Glitter

L.Lilac alone and with L. Glitter Gold on the top. I love this purple!

Pink with Coloured Glitter

LC122 alone and with L. Multi Color on the top. The glitters are very stiff and don’t apply well over a creamier shade. It looks horrible, but I left it in so you can compare  to the swatch above where a glitter has applied much more nicely over a thinner base.


L BG. The metallic shades, while pigmented, are very thin. Again, this swatch could be built up but I wanted to demonstrate the thin-ness of some of the metallic shades. I’d wear this shade over an eyeliner or lipliner base, or mix it with other colours to add a different sheen to them.

Overall, this palette is a great addition to a makeup artists kit, or for a makeup enthusiastic. However you use makeup, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll need so many crazy colours, and this is a really good cost-effective way of having a bunch all in one place. The majority of shades are thin but buildable – I would recommend a base with the metallic shades - while the glitter shades will work best over a thinner base or a lipliner as opposed to a creamier base as you can see from the pink swatch above. The thinness of lipsticks can be a plus or a minus point depending on how you look at it. They’re more comfortable to wear and easier to get a crisp edge with when they’re thin but you may have to use a little more product. I love the addition of white and black which makes this great to mixing.

They have a waxy-makeup scent like a lot of professional brands but it’s not noticeable after a minute or so.

Kryolan can be hard to find – try your local professional makeup store first if you have one, or if you don’t, most large cities will have one. In London Screenface and Charles Fox are stockists and I know larger, more well equipped fancy dress stores will often stock these sorts of brands. is an amazing UK based website for professional and SFX makeup as is where you can pick this palette up for £13.90

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Review: Illamasqua Skin Base

I'm sure you've all heard of Illamasqua's Skin Base. Having tested several shades pretty thoroughly for a good while, it's high time for a review! Here’s what Illamasqua have to say:

“Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.”

So…basically sounds perfect, right?

Skin Base Review

This is a review I don't really want to have to write, and you can take it from that that it's not all that positive. This would be an utterly perfect foundation if it weren't for one big BUT/ I've bought a few shades of Skin Base to use in my kit, under recommendation of lots of makeup artists, bloggers and YouTubers who all sing it's praises. I'd heard that there was a learning curve with this foundation but that the results were worth it, so I bought some shades for my kit and one for myself. Please bear in mind that while all foundation reviews are very subjective and worth taking with a pinch of salt, I have tried this foundation out extensively on myself as well as on models and clients.

Let's start with the good things about this foundation, because there are actually plenty. The shade range is wonderful, so you shouldn't have too much of a  problem finding a match, with shades from white to almost ebony, and plenty of yellow, pink and neutral shades in-between. I ordered my shade using the foundation chart on the website and it was a pretty accurate match, but of course heading to a counter is still your best option. I've heard tell of plenty of people who haven't found a good match using the online system, and I've seen in person a friend who had used the online system to find a match and got a poor one then get a much better one from an Illamasqua artist on the counter. If you can't find one out their 25 shades to suit you, the colours easily mix together for custom shades, and there is a white shade which you can just pop in store and buy or order online, which is fabulous as lots of ranges either don't carry one, are a cream foundation, or are in a mail-order, pro range only.

If you're a makeup artist looking to buy for your kit, David Horne, one of the founders of Illamasqua, has suggested it's worth getting shades 01 (white), 02, 04, 06, 08, 10 and 12, but of course everyone’s needs vary. MUA forums and groups on Facebook will have tons of advice.

Skin Base Swatches

Swatches on the back of my hand of Skin Base in shades 01, 03, 04 and 06. I had another shade but lost it on a shoot. I has started to buy paler shades and then was going to buy a couple medium and a couple dark for mixing. As you can see, a little goes a long way – the lower swatch could have been blended out MUCH further. You can see from the last swatch that it’s starting to blend into the skin quite beautifully. It’s worth noting at this point that as the range has lots of undertones in it, if a shade doesn’t match you moving one or two shades up or down the range may not necessarily help you find a match.

I really like that Illamasqua put all their foundations into plastic bottles - I much prefer a squeeze tube for hygiene, and it's lighter in the kit as well. Skinbase still has the rounded-square shape present in most other Illamasqua packaging for it's lid, which is a nice little addition. It's not as luxe looking as the rest of the range, but in my opinion it doesn't need to be.

  Okay. Onto wear…


This is a photo of when I tried Skin Base for literally the very first time – in direct light, in artificial lighting and with flash (It doesn’t normally look so shiny on the skin and I’ve taken flash photos wearing it where it looks a little shiny but not as much as here) No powder, concealer or primer. I wasn't overly impressed with how it looks on the skin - it didn't look patchy or anything, but it looked like foundation. Perhaps I was just expecting a lot, but looking at my camera, I really liked how it photographed. As I was after it for my kit, this seemed super promising and, excited, I got to work trying  techniques to make it look better on my skin in real life. I tried fingers and various brushes, including a buffing brush which a lot of people seem to like it with, but personally found I got best results using a damp sponge or beauty blender. Unusual for me as I hardly ever reach for a sponge, but I'll take it. This was a little annoying that I had to work out how best to apply it, but it’s certainly not the first or last foundation I’ll have to do this with!



Another not so great photo, but I’m basically just wearing Skin Base here. I posted this on Instagram and got comments saying how lovely my skin was – and I’m telling you, it ain’t this lovely!

The foundation feels very light on the skin and I really do think the 'skin realism' claims of Illamasqua are warranted – “natural, buildable coverage” I will certainly agree with Illamasqua on. It's not dewy but not too dewy, and I’d say while light, it’s still a medium coverage, although it is buildable to an extent and can be applied very sheerly too. I like how flexible it can be. Basically, it just looks like your skin, but better. “Hurrah,” I thought! “I've cracked it! I’ve found my Holy Grail!” But now, sadly, comes the 'but.'

This foundation. Does. Not. Last. After a couple of hours, it separates pretty badly on the skin, especially anywhere even slightly oily, leaving a not-that-nice look on your face. I am a pretty dry-skinned person and don't tend to have a problem with oiliness affecting my foundations at all, but Skin Base just will not sit on me and I've tried *everything*! I know you can't expect much from lighter, foundation in terms of wear (Skin Base is based on Asian BB creams) but this is…pretty bad.

Now I've tried pretty much everything to get it to last. Everything. I absolutely love Illamasqua's Hydraveil which was created to use with Skin Base and many has said it stops it from separating, and that doesn't seem to have an affect on application. I've tried every moisturizer at my disposal to use as a base, (and I have a lot!) to prep the skin. I've tried trusted primers from Benefit, L'Oreal, Too True, and MAC, some which I know control oil really well and help to prolong wear of most foundations.  I've tried setting it with setting sprays and it seems to separate underneath those as well!  It looks really lovely powdered with Illamasqua's loose powder, which is another favourite of mine, but doesn't last so well. I have an uber long lasting powder from a stage and screen brand that helps it out a little bit, but the ultra-mattifiying it gives is really not what I'm looking to do with this foundation. I’ve tried uber-thin, uber-buffed layers, but basically, nothing I’ve tried, nothing I can think of and on no skin type I’ve come across and used it on (I’ve tried it on dry skins and oily skins, teenage models and girls in their 40’s) can I make this foundation last longer than two hours max without looking awful. I kind of don’t mind it not lasting that much – I have a few BB creams and tinted moisturizers that don’t last well and for me that’s not always a problem. If it didn’t last for two hours and just wore away, I think I could maybe handle that, but it just sticks around, looking all separate-y and rubbish. Naturally, given that it wears so poorly, I can’t really comment on whether it “smoothes, softens and conditions your skin,” but it’s at least not drying. I find all this very sad and frustrating – not being able to find a solution makes me feel a bit thick, plus I was so excited for this foundation!

On the plus side, mixing Skin Base with other liquids or creams doesn't seem to present a problem with separating, which is great, especially as that's what I bought the white shade for! I think I'll probably use my existing bottles to sheer out my cream foundations and concealers, perhaps for use on the body. I don't like to waste product if I can help it and I’m pleased that I can at least use the shades I’ve got. If I can recommend one shade of Skin Base the white one is still worth your cash!

I really hate to write this post as it does look very beautiful, and I know so many other people love it. But I've tested it as extensively as I can, and without sounding up my own arse, I'm pretty good with the ol' makeup. So if you know a way to magically make this stay put, please, please tell me as I'd love to love this foundation! And of course, for every negative review of this foundation I’ve read (and I’m always sceptical of website reviews – just because the SA matched you wrong doesn’t make the foundation itself crap, people!) I’ve read ten positive, raving, head-over-heels review, and I’ve heard other bloggers and MUAs I know and trust have issues with it that I don’t find at all. So if you’re near a counter, try it out. Who knows, it might be lovely on you!

Illamasqua Skin Base comes in 25 shades plus an illuminating shade, and costs £27.00. If you’re confident of your shade match, Illamasqua also do a web exclusive bundle where you can buy Skin Base, Skin Lift and Hyraveil for £50 which is a really decent saving,

Monday, 16 September 2013

Favourites roundup!

WAY too late for August but time for some favourites nonetheless! I’ve changed jobs recently and have to be pretty conservative with my makeup. I love *all* makeup and polish colours so wearing neutrals doesn’t really bother me, but does mean I feel I have to make sure my skin is looking reeeeeeal pretty, hence a couple of items in this post.



Clockwise from top left:

Kiko Colour Explosion Multi Tone Blush in  03 Active Mauve

I got this beauty on sale from Kiko for around £6. The four swatches on the right below show the blush tones, with the far right one being all the colours mixed together. I just love how this looks lightly applied – a really soft, slightly cool-toned rose that just looks *so* pretty. I love how each part of the pan is large enough to wear alone, too.

kiko swatches

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Hemlock

I’ve raved long and hard about this, so just let me say that a strong duochrome that is work appropriate and long wearing is amazing.

Illamasqua Hemlock

Impulse Cosmetics Opaque Matte Lipstick in Smoking Gun

You can read my full review of this bad boy here, but I’m loving this beautiful bold, bargain priced blue!

Impulse Cosmetics Smoking Guns

Weleda Skin Food

This stuff really is wondrous! I’d seen a lot of makeup artists rave about this stuff, and when my boyfriend had a nastly flare-up of dry skin I bought it to see if it helped at all – and it did! Being a dry-skinned babe myself, I had to try it out and while I’ve been using it for less than a month I have to say I’ve seen a difference. I apply it at night as it take a while to sink in, but when I wake up my face feels wonderful and after a cleanse I just slap on some Illamasqua Hydraveil as opposed to a thicker day cream, so it saves me time in the morning too! It’s very thick and to me smells like Campari, which I don’t particularly like. If it’s good enough for Posh (apparently), it’s good enough for me and at arond £8 for 75ml it really is a bargain. I know I’ll repurchase!

Silk Naturals Eyeshadow in Fusion

I dug this baby out when rooting through my work-safe colours and it’s a pleasant rediscovery! Well known for MAC and Urban Decay dupes, there’s no arguing Silk Naturals makes a banging neutral and this is no exception. They describe it as a ‘dirty copper plum…with golden highlights’ and that it’s one of the colours that’s ‘too cool for the cubicle.’ It’s a pretty, interesting taupe and it’s made me rekindle my fondness for this brand, so expect to see more from them soon!


Silk Naturals eyeshadows in Heat, Glory, Fusion and Hairpin.

Maybelline Baby Lips

I’ve only shown the mint one here and that’s actually my least favourite, but it’s the only one that I had to hand, the pink and peach tints are living in my drawer at work! I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about I first heard of these, and yeah, they’re just lip balms. They’re not the most exciting of beauty products, but I really like the garish packaging and they do moisturise while providing a subtle, non-staining hint of colour that actually shows up. For three quid I can’t not love that!

What have you been loving at the moment? Tried anything here?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Makeup Roundup!

I have been AWFUL at taking non-camera phones at the moment,  but I *have* been wearing nice-ish makeup. Ah well! Sorry about the filters and so on, but take it as gospel that my skin doesn’t look like this but my eye and lip makeup does ;)

blue brows

Blue brows! I wore blue brows and a neon shirt to take a makeup trip around London! I user MAC Subculture lipliner, my favourite nude with the MUA Undress Me Too palette on the eyes. For the brows, I used a white pencil as a base and filled them in with Sleek and Sugarpill, finishing off with a Barry M navy blue kohl liner.

Wearing Fyrinnae’s Electro Koi and Superstar… I love, love, love pink and orange together!

blue stuff

Dicking about with Sugarpill and Illamasqua here….


Wearing, again, my Undress Me Too palette with Illamasqua Shard on the lips over a liner to make it extra deep. I’m also proudly sporting my very first fishtail braid!


Busting out the Wet n Wild Petal Pusher palette to add a bit of purple to my liner. Using Darling Girl “Stay Beautiful” on the lips and Illamasqua lover on the cheeks.

still into you 3

Way too rubbish for it’s own post, but here’s my version of Hayley’s makeup from Paramore’s “Still Into You” video I did a while back. No idea what I used except MAC’s Pink Noveau on the lips.

I still haven’t managed to shake off my twelve year winged liner habit no matter what else I’m wearing! :D What’s been gracing your gorgeous face lately?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Mini Haul: Illamasqua Sacred Hour Collection

As soon as Illamasqua launched their collection I wondered what I was going to get! The colours are beautiful for autumn and the collection as a whole really shows how savvy Illamasqua is when it comes to having collections with something for everyone. From soft neutral eye colours and insanely pigmented blushers, to interesting shimmery polishes and berry lips, I defy anyone to not want at least one thing from it!  Not really being able to justify any of it, I was very good and got just two bits.


Lipstick in ‘Shard’

Illamasqua Shard

First up is Illamasqua’s lipstick in Shard.  A beautiful blackberry colour, I was instantly drawn to this, but stumped up the cash because the word ‘shard’ always reminds me of The Dark Crystal! Sadly the formula isn’t one of Illamasqua’s better ones. Lovers of the brand will know their lipsticks tend to be on the dry side, but some are better than others and this isn’t the best. I found it to apply a little patchily, making my lips look poorly taken care of even though they were freshly buffed and balmed. I’m frustrated at the application because having watched an Illamasqua girl apply it on my friend, I know it doesn’t always look like this, yet I’m confident enough in my lipstick application to say the formula isn’t stellar. It’s still plenty  wearable, however, and the colour really does make up for the poorer formula. While it goes on with a bit of a sheen, it dries down matte and when worked in as a stain (which the colour is *perfect* for) it lasts all day.

illamasqua shard comparison 1

Just for funsies, here’s Shard layered over a similar coloured lip liner from LA Colours. I love how this looks!

If you really love the colour – and it’s going to suit pretty much everyone! -you’ll be able to put up with the formula but if can’t be dealing with a poorer formula for the price, skip it - The shelves will be awash with berry colours this fall.

Nail Polish in ‘Hemlock’

Illamasqua Hemlock

Sadly my rubbish photo taking doesn’t capture the beauty of this polish. It’s not left my nails for about a fortnight – I’ve reapplied it straight away! As you can just see on my index finger, the green flash in this is really strong, yet it’s set against the most beautiful, hard to describe, dusky pink-gold-taupe base. I bought it because I thought I could get away with it for work, and I have! Hurrah! It wears wonderfully well – at least five days strong and two coats will give you a fairly sheer wash of colour with a nice strong flash of green. An absolutely stunning polish,

Did you pick up anything from this collection? What are your favourite Illamasqua products?

Monday, 9 September 2013

Where to go makeup shopping in London

One of my favourite things to do in London is, naturally, makeup shopping. I do this shopping walk over and over again and love it, and it covers most things you could ever want from a makeup shopping trip. Makeup can be had in any department store, shopping centre or area of London, but I stick to this little route a lot and it covers everything. I've also listed some other stores elsewhere in London that are worth a visit.

I'm super lucky to have met some wonderful bloggers from around the country and abroad and I always enjoy shopping with them. This weekend I met up with the lovely Sam from Kiss My Sparkle and our friend Jade and off we went!


Face charts at Illamasqua, prettiness at Benefit and pigments and glitter at Makeup Store.

Starting your stroll just off Carnaby Street, the Illamasqua store is an absolute must-stop for makeup lovers. The store is absolutely beautiful, and it's normally quieter than the stand at Selfridges so the MUAs there can give you their full attention. Jade and I spent a good time drooling over their beautiful face charts, the studio at the back of the store where they hold classes, the quirky Gothic furniture and of course, all the beautiful polishes and makeup, while Sam was matched for SkinBase by a lovely, friendly MUA.


Snippets of prettiness from the Benefit parlour.

Heading back onto Carnaby Street, the brand-new Benefit store is so girly and worth a stop by! Sam and I picked up some of the Creaseless Cream Shadows and I was actually pretty impressed by their new blush, Rockateur. Downstairs they have a full-on beauty salon for waxing, nails, spray tanning and blow-drys, complete with a champagne bar! It's definitely somewhere I'd take my sister or one of my besties for a pamper day and I can see it becoming a popular hen-do spot with it's cute decor and central location.

Continuing down Carnaby Street you'll see the Swedish brand Makeup Store on your left. I absolutely love the Makeup Store - the glitters and pigments are amazing, and they have a gorgeous home spa section as well. If you buy something, you get a discount on thier own magazine which I always pick up. It's absolutely stunning and as good as many editorial makeup books I've paid ten times the money for!



Treats at Choccywoccydoodah! Not makeup, but whatever.

Coming out of Makeup Store, head straight across down Fouberts Place to MAC Pro on the corner. As well as carrying all the usual MAC products, they carry lots of other fun things for professional use, like acrylic body paints and the Chromacakes. MAC Pro is conveniently right next door to Choccywoccydoodah! I stopped in here with the girls for the first time and ordered a white hot chocolate and a dipping pot with lots of little bite-sized version of their treats and left in a full-on sugar coma. This is a really nice, quirky place with lovely kitsch decor and fun music to stop off at and rest your feet, and the staff were absolutely lovely and made us feel very welcome.


Back off to Carnaby Street and off to Liberty! This is one of my favourite shops in London as it's so beautiful and easy to get lost in for a couple of hours. Head through the chocolate shop and you'll come out into the perfume department - I love it here as there are so many posh and unusual scents in a posh-Great-Grandma’s-house setting. There's lots of nooks and crannies to explore in the beauty department. - the Hourglass counter is worth a browse and if you head up a couple of floors, the bath and body section is always decked out beautifully. If you’re into candles, this is where you wanna be.



A long line of pretty at the YSl counter in Selfridges

Leaving Liberty and heading back onto Regent Street and then Oxford Street, turn left and keep going until you reach Selfridges! You will pass a (newly refurbished but Art Deco-less) Debenhams  and a John Lewis, but Selfridges beauty hall kicks their butt. I freaking love Selfridges beauty hall. Hooooooooo mama! As well as favourites like MAC, NARS and Bobbi Brown, I love going to the Shu Uemura and Armani counters, and I always stop off to drool at the crazy expensive Tom Ford products! I noticed the new Charlotte Tilbury stand was super popular too!I took some advice from the lovely guys at Kiehl’s about some male skin care while the girls drooled over the Suquu range. Heading to the back of the beauty section you'll find all the polishes and less high-end brands like OCC and Bourjouis, as well as quirky brands like Paul and Joe.

If you're a real hard-core shopper, you can go to Carnaby Street via Regent Street, and stop off at Penhaligons, an absolutely beautiful per fumier, and LUSH for all your favourites. Then go through all the shops above, but instead of continuing down Oxford Street from Liberty, nip into Topshop to check out their own range of makeup and the huge Barry M stand. Before heading into Selfridges, there's a large Boots on Oxford Street - skip all the counters as you'll see these in Selfridges, but it's a good chance to pick up UK brands you can't get elsewhere, and a Body Shop or two as well. Similarly, take a right as you leave Selfridges and there's a huge Superdrug for even more UK high street goodies like Sleek and MUA!

That's usually quite enough for one day, but there are a few other gems dotted about London as well. If you're in Westfield White City, the OPI store and Models Own Bottleshop are great for polishes. KIKO (also at Westfield Stratford) is fast becoming one of my favourite makeup stores and have they amazing products for great prices, as well as great sales. The only Inglot store in the UK is in Westfield White City as well and I could go on and on about how much I love this brand! If you're in either Westfield, the large Boots have a great range of French pharmacie skin-care brands, too. If you’re shopping at the White City Westfield, PAM is a short walk away and has an amazing range of professional and colour brands such as Makeup Forever and Illamasqua, as well SFX goodies galore and amazing brushes from brands like bDellium Tools and London Brush Co.

Central London-wise, if you're in Covent Garden a stop at Charles Fox on Tavistock Street is an absolute must – lots of amazing special effects goodies (buckets of vomit, anyone? Fake beards?) and wonderful colour products from Kryolan, Ben Nye, Illamasqua et al to play with. There's also a SpaceNK a short walk away in Seven Dials along with a MAC, Bare Minerals, Benefit and Shu Uemura.


My modest haul for the day! Thank you, Boots BOGOF!

If you have any London-based shopping questions, please just let me know and I'll do my best to answer! Where do you like to shop for makeup?