4.11.11

Rodial Glam Balm Lip + Miners Matte Factor

I've been loving this combination since the past few weeks and had to let you guys know about it. 

I received Rodial's Glam Balm Lip in a goody bag at a recent event and have been obsessed with it since. Trust me, lip balms hardly ever get me excited but this one's heavenly! It smells of roses and honey, has a very  slight iridescent pink tint to it and is extremely glossy and moisturising. 

You remember I featured Miner's Matte Factor Lip Colours in a recent post? I am still loving using them on a daily basis as they are matte and quite easy to wear regardless of the occasion. 




I unfortunately have a cringe-worthy habit of biting my lips when stressed, which results in chapped lips that can cause matte lip colours to appear not so pretty you see. So I started incorporating a bit of Rodial's Glam Balm on top and voila!

The result stays intact and it gives me lusciously fuller lips for a good few hours, without having to worry about dry patches or glossy goop. 

Thought I'd do some Miner's Matte Factor swatches for you too. All swatches are with Glam Balm Lip on top or as a base.

These babies don't bleed or fade very easily and their consistency is undetectable.

Definitely check out Rodial's Glam Balm Lip(£19) if you haven't yet as the huge pot of pure delightfulness is surely worth every penny of it's price. It contains Rose wax, Shea Butter and Vitamin E and works pretty well as plumping up the lips ever so slightly.

Murad Hybrids - Face Primers et al

Murad is usually known for their scientifically forward and effective skincare and have recently released a range called 'Hybrids', which as you may have guessed is a hybrid between skin care and make-up. 

It not only provides a superficial layer to conceal the flaws temporarily but also helps revive the skin on use over the period of time which is always a plus eh?

The range consists of two Face Primers - dewy and matte finish, a Perfector(a light concealer) and an Illuminator(think touch eclat!). Love the minimal yet classy slick black packaging. 


The Face Primers are the heroes of this collection in my opinion. They are not like the usual silicone based gels but instead have a very liquidy, tinted moisturizer like consistency and are skin coloured, very close to my NC30 skin tone.

The shade shouldn't matter really as it provides absolutely no coverage in my experience but it might look slightly off colour on those really pale!

The Dewy Primer(£27) is what I reserve for days when my skin is feeling dehydrated and I will be wearing a thick, full coverage foundation. What this does is that it prevents the full coverage foundation from looking cakey and still imparts natural skin.

It does contain some light reflecting particles and is quite nice really to wear on its own on a good skin day.

The Matte Primer(£27) however is something I highly recommend for all skin types whatsoever. I have tested it out on dry, oily and combination skin types and it works just as well. It is not very mattifying which is a good thing as I have never really been a fan of mask-like skin.

What it does however is that it slightly minimises pore size, keeps the t-zone considerably oil free during the day and prolongs make-up throughout. Two thumbs up for both primers being oil-free!



The Eye Perfector(£25) is a lightly formulated, light reflecting illuminating concealer aimed at bouncing off light from any imperfections under the eye area. 

I however cannot use this on its own as it's coverage isn't very heavy but it does a pretty decent job when applied on top a concealer. It sets the concealer well and avoids it from appearing cakey.

The Eye Illuminator(£25) is a lavender coloured, grainy liquid which is meant to counteract the sallowness under the eyes and brighten it up before applying concealer. 

Again, this does not work on my considerably dark Asian dark circles on its own but I instead like to use it on the face to brighten it up, as lilac is known to counteract sallow, dull skin isn't it?

The Eye products are great and there is no denying to that. They would work on those of you with hardly any imperfections under the eyes but I personally felt the face products were better comparatively. 



Definitely check out the range and their descriptions to see if anything tickles your fancy. 

I can vouch for the face products personally and have seen lots of positive reviews on the eye products as well so each to its own I'd say. 


3.11.11

Anastasia Beauty Express

Every one's heard of Anastasia and knows her as the queen of brows with her salon in Beverly Hills. Well, I have a brow kit from her today called the Beauty Express and it promises to be the ultimate solution to unruly brows. 

You guys know I will not leave the house without doing the brows, unless on a gun point of course. I was so excited to try out the product for myself as I mostly use pencils but have recently stepped into powders and waxes on a daily basis and they actually work pretty well and have better longevity comparatively.




I have the kit in Brunette which is a perfect option for me as it contains two ultimate shades needed for brunette brows, namely a cool taupe and a warm coffee brown.

There's a setting wax which can be used prior to filling in the brows with colour or to finish it off. I personally like to use the wax to finish off the brows as it provides extra texture and avoids it from looking sketched in.

Unlike what you'd expect, the powders are very moderately pigmented and undetectable once on so you have greater control and can adjust intensity as desired. They lasted an entire day at the office and on my brows hence I am pleased with the longevity and quality.

I like the fact that the kit comes with two complimentary eyeshadow shades to enhance, define and brighten the eye and brow area so they are mutually flattering.

I use the shimmery pink on the inner corners of the eyes and it really makes the area 'pop'. I then use the matte beige right underneath the brows arch to define it even more. I find it covers hair growth really well too and overall neatens the effect.






It also comes with a few stencils which I previously thought would be gimmicky and wouldn't really work but these are of great quality and adhere and mould to the skin so well, that the whole task of filling in becomes easier. 

I personally love the 'High Arch' one as it fits my brow shape almost perfectly. Of course for the sake of convenience I don't use the stencil every day before I leave for work but once in a while when I want to re-define unruly brows, this is what I opt for!


Some before-after shots to show you that I do not have naturally groomed brows. As you can see, they are sparse and greyish and If I wouldn't fill them in, it would make a huge difference in the overall make-up look and my age!

Can you see how it instantly makes my brows look HD instead of untamed?

Before

After


Anastasia Beauty Express is available for $39.50 from Anastasia.net and Sephora.

1.11.11

Label.M & Giles Deacon

Label.M have collaborated with Giles Deacon this Christmas and have come up with a set of gorgeous looking gift sets. I have the Mini Stocking Filler Gift Box which is a treat for £12! 

It comes in a very beautifully packed box with a lovely print on the sides. 




I have the set geared towards achieving volume (shocker!) and it comes with a generous sized shampoo, leave in conditioner, blow out spray and shine spray.

The Blow Out Spray is what I use on 80% dry hair, starting from the roots and inner layers of the hair working it with my hands. This adds a decent amount of volume on the crown area if used in conjunction with a blow dryer. Try and opt for the cold air setting though as it's less damaging!

The Leave In Conditioner is my absolute favourite. I use it solely on my very dehydrated ends and its makes it tangle free and uber soft in seconds. Finally, running finger through my hair can be possible. I am using this up so quickly, I wish it was slightly more bigger in size. It is a nicely fragranced liquid consistency in case you're wondering.

I am not very fond of the Shine Spray as although it imparts shine well, I felt it stiffens my hair very slightly, like a hairspray. An effect I am not very fond off. I only use this very sparingly when I am done styling my hair.



Overall, some great little gems in here especially for the price. Would make a great option if you'd want to branch out to a different hair brand without spending much. 

Of course it would make a productive present too for anyone who likes big, voluminous hair but I'd be too tempted to keep it for my self. 

Available at Tony & Guy and Label.m salons. 

30.10.11

Carmine - Yet another beauty box or the ONLY one there should be?

Carmine is the latest contender in the race of beauty boxes in the UK, following Glossybox, Boudoir Prive and FeelUnique.

I have tried a few of the beauty boxes besides the FeelUnique one and was quite curious to notice a distinct difference this time around.

I am glad to report that the box contains some really niche yet sort after brands like Daniel Sandler and The Balm and secondly, the product's are all generous sized miniatures instead of the annoying 2ml 'samples' so customers can get full value for the money paid.




As you can see, the products are either full sized or travel size and not samples you'd otherwise receive free of cost from counters.

The mix of products is also quite interesting as they have nicely catered for hands and nails, keeping excitement for make-up products intact by including a full sized version of Frat boy by The Balm which itself retails for more than the price of this beauty box (£10 + p&p).



Frat Boy by The Balm is a gorgeous matte peach blusher that would suit almost all skin tones besides very dark and very pale hence it's a very clever idea to include it in the box as most people are likely to adore it. Think MAC Melba blusher!
Daniel Sandler's Eye Delight is a finely milled, iridescent sliver-pink powder which works great in the inner corners of the eyes or dusted all over the lids. Again, something quite safe yet wearable.
Balance Me Hand Cream is actually quite a gem of a product and heals my chapped, dry cuticles overnight. All I use is a pea sized amount as it is very hydrating. I am not generally impressed with hand creams but this one's a winner in my books.


This is something in the lines of Seche Vite and is a Nail Strengthener by Trind. You literally paint this on to the nails like nail paint and not only does it leaves nails super glossy but prevents them from chipping and flaking. I have been wearing this since the past few days on the nails and so far so good! 

I shall be trying this as a base and top coat with a nail paint and will let you guys know how it goes. 


(Like the uneven nails? They keep chipping hence the state. Hopefully the nail strengthener should solve this)


Caudalie's drenching sorbet cream is the only item I haven't tried of yet but is surely sounds promising! 


Overall, I personally liked the Carmine beauty box much more than Glossy Box and Boudoir Prive as the product sizes are great and the mix of products and brands is quite interesting. 

For once, all the items in the beauty box are something I will actually use instead of piling it in the 'miscellaneous' box or passing it on to friends and family. 

I am looking forward to seeing what they bring out next month!

Will you be trying it out?