Sleek True Colour Lipstick 'Cherry'

I love Sleek's Blushers and Eye shadow palettes but have never paid attention to their Lipsticks until I got one in December's Glossybox (which I feel is brilliant!) called Cherry . 

The shade is a gorgeous maroonish burgundy, a perfect pink-red if that makes any sense. I was more than glad to discover it has a glossy finish as my lips are extremely dry and flaky at this time of the year and a matte finish would only make them worse. 

As you can probably tell, it's a very rich and deep shade. Not very complex or unique but extremely lovable on first sight and universally flattering due to its neutral-blue undertones.

I did not expect it to be any good at all frankly as I have tried a few Sleek lipsticks in the past and have been disappointed but the texture, coverage and finish of this baby is second to none.

Sometimes it's so creamy that it can feather outside the lips easily hence a good lining of lips with a similar lip pencil is recommended. I like to apply this straight from the bullet although it's super duper pigmented.

I don't have such a shade in my vanity and have been lusting over similar shades from MAC recently so am glad I got this in my Glossybox and even if I run out, for £4.99, it's literally dirt cheap!

It's a mixture of MAC's Rebel and Darkside lippies I believe so if you are looking for dupes, get your hands on this.


Do Sales Assistants/MUA's at counters influence your purchase?

For me, they do till about a whopping 80%. There you go brands, an invaluable statistic from a person obsessed with cosmetics, to save you time consuming market research. When I step into a store to purchase an item, lets say a Foundation for instance that I just did today, I of course have done the given research about the product and have a strong idea in my mind as to what I want the leave the store with. However, that's not what seals the deal for me, it's the ladies at the make-up counters who can influence my decision and distract me to an extent by a few more products from the brand, without being obviously pushy.

I have in the past bought numerous products simply because I found the Sales Assistant at the counter really helpful, warm and friendly. I will never get talked into a product, don't get me wrong as that is not what I mean at all. I can very kindly and politely refuse a forced sale if I am not convinced with a product or the person's reasoning behind selling it to me. What I am trying to say is when I have, lets say three Foundations short listed in my mind that I would like to purchase one from, then the deal breaker (or maker) will be the Sales Assistant/MUA.

When it comes to Selfridges in London guys, I am not even looking for a warm and friendly person on the counter. It's more like choosing between who's less worse/cold than another. One counter than particularly springs into my mind when I think of Sales Assistants with cold vibes, robotic stares and an indifferent, constipated expression on the face that they somehow hold quite consistently over the years is Bobbi Brown.   I have a wish list of items to purchase from them but their unhelpfulness and treating the counter as a protected, closed sanctuary from the customers has let me down three times now. Another similar one is Chanel in Selfridges, London but I love the brand a bit too much to let their MUA's influence me one bit. I do end up purchasing from them, just not as much.

Coming to the rosier side things, the counters that I do like/love for their informative, helpful, chirpy and at least pretending-to-be-nice Sales Assistants/MUA's are Benefit, Lancome, NARS, Giorgio Armani, Clinique and Guerlian so kudos to them. All I can say to these moody Sales Advisors and to these brands is to hire people who actually LOVE make-up (note make-up NOT money) unconditionally be it 8am in the morning or 9pm at night. Oh and to Bobbi Brown, you're really not Chanel so buck up and teach those snobby bunch at Selfridges to smile a little :)

It's obviously clear that Sales Assistants/MUA's at counters affect our decision to purchase but to what extent?

Amie 'Perfect Beauty' Gift Set

Is it too late to suggest even last minute Christmas gift ideas? I guess this cute gift set by Amie would in fact be a great New Year's present to yourself. I don't know about you but I surely want to switch up my skin care and make-up products in the new year and have a brand new start in all aspects, even vain. This would kick start that project quite effectively as for £19.95, you get a Moisturiser, Face Wash, Exfoliator and an Eye Make-up Remover.

The Moisturiser is brilliant for younger skin such as those in the teens or for those of you with combination/oily skin types as it promises a matte finish and does not break out. The Face Wash is creamy and great for the winter and its Eye Make-up Remover is something I use every day any ways and it works quite well as removing eye shadow, liner and water proof mascara.

I haven't tried the New Leaf Exfoliating Skin Polish as of yet so a full review of it should be up as soon I have a play around with it. The plastic travel bag is spacious and I have already kept it aside for my next holiday. Clear, spacious travel bags are invaluable for storing hair, make-up and skincare products if you're a travel addict so you don't end up running out around like a headless chicken on the last minute!



Liz Earle Perfect Fix Concealer

It's amazing how a brand like Liz Earle has been catering their make-up products towards women of colour recently and I noticed that initially in their Foundations and now followed by their Perfect Fix Concealer.

These twist up tube comes in a frills free, silver packaging. The shade I have in my possession is No 4, Medium which is in real fact a deep yellowy-beige shade with salmon-peachy undertones to it.

Not so good for blemishes unless your skin colour matches the concealer shade perfectly but it's ingenious for dark brown, purply-blue circles under the eyes that need brightening. What such corrective shades do is to counteract the darkness under the eyes and bring it back to your original skin colour. If you find the end result a little too tanned, you can then go ahead to add your usual concealer for the bright Kim Kardashian concealer.

In a total of 7 shades, No 4 is a NC/NW40 in my opinion as I currently wear a MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC35 and it's considerably lighter than this. The shade of this resembles Bobbi Brown's Correcter in Peach or darker to an extent as to the purpose it serves.

Regarding the finish of this, I am not very fond of it as somewhere in between a cream and a powder. It dries to a semi-matte, powdery finish very much like MAC's Studio Finish Concealer, however because it's not absolutely full coverage, it leaves gaps in the middle and can cling to dry patches under the eye. The coverage of this is light-medium.

Overall, if you have always been in the minority and hated heavy cream-powder concealers such as Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage and MAC's Studio Finish, then this one will be perfect for you if you have good skin in general and just want to brighten, correct and add light to certain areas of the face minus the hideous grey cast that other concealers deliver.

The shade range is great with salmon, peach and olive undertones. See if you can find yourself a good match as for £13.50, it's surely worth at try just for the shade variations it offers.


Neom Christmas Wish Reed Diffuser

If you're still looking for a last minute Christmas present, definitely check out Neom's Christmas Wish Reed Diffuser. I believe it's only available during Christmas, so it's a bit of a limited edition thing and I highly recommend you stock up on one as you won't get to see it till next year. It's a unique warm yet sweet blend of spicy and citrusy scents that just makes me feel comforted and fuzzy inside, especially when it's dreary and pouring outside.

I have to admit, it's the best Neom has ever come up till date when it comes to scents. The quality of the diffusing oil in this one is particularly great as it starts working it magic in the room as soon you open the beautiful cardboard box this comes housed in. Also, I should also mention the classy, muted gold packaging this comes in which would make it a luxe item in the drawing room or a lush present for someone who likes home decor and fragrances.

Another guilt free reason to get your hands on this is the fact that a £1 from every item sold from this product will be given to Make a Wish Foundation that grants wishes of little children dealing with chronic illnesses.


Make-up bits from Pixi that I'm loving

There's not a single product from Pixi that I have disliked till date. It's one of those brands that can do the wackiest of shades, sometimes not even to my taste, but because their quality is brilliant and they glide on like butter, I fall in love with them instantly.

I have been loving a few things from them recently that I have been using since weeks so here's a better late than never feature on them.

You guys know how much I love my Magic Tint Lip Balm by Pixi which changes colour based on the PH level and all that body chemistry jazz. I have a similar one called Tinted Brilliance Balm which is a coloured lip balm like the Chubby Sticks by Clinique, just more pigmented and less glossy.

The one I have is called 'Baby Bare' which is a peachy nude. Not the most flattering shade to accentuate those pearly whites but their quality is seriously stunning as they glide on the skin beautifully without tugging to dry skin, are moderately pigmented and foolproof as an everyday handbag product and come in various flattering shades.

I am also in love with their Endless Silky Eye Pen as it's the most creamy, smudge proof and pigmented pencil eye liner I have in my vanity. Besides, the shades they come in are quite unique and edgy, always an odd twist to them such as glitter when unexpected or a duo chrome of some sort.

The shade I have is Black Tulip I believe which is an ink blue with lilac accents and shimmer shot through it. I like to apply a thick line of this on the top lash line and then smudge it out for a smoked out effect. It's effortless with this baby! I seriously want to stock up on all the shades and it might be possible considering they're only £9 a pop.

I am sure you must have heard about the popular Early Bird Palette from them. It comes housed in this Disney inspired, lavender packaging that has doors to it in the middle. When you open them, you are greeted with an array of eye shadow's, bronzers and blushers. It is unbelievably compact and the uber cute colours are super smooth and wearable. It would be the only thing I would take with me on a holiday besides Foundation, Concealer, Powder and a Mascara.

The bronzers and blushers have a gorgeous sheen to them and the eye shadows are shimmery as well. Some eye shadows are more gritty than the rest but that's just a very minor flaw to it, especially when the kit retails at £16. If you're looking for a last minute Christmas present, grab this from a Pixi Boutique!

I am not sure why the brand isn't raved about as much but they do stunning products for everyday wear, with uber cute pastel green packaging and a reasonable price point. I have a never ending wish list for their products building up since years. One can dream!

Make Christmas special for a deafblind child

I seriously cannot imagine my life if I could not hear and see at the same time. I mean for heavens sake, I cannot deal with extra heat or the crowd in the train, let alone anything close to what these poor souls that Sense helps go through.

It's adorable how this charity will use this money to buy sensory toys for these little kids so they can experience a little bit of Christmas in their own way!

I have donated. Have you? Go on and make yourself and someone else feel special :)


Dr Jart BB Beauty Balm

After all the hype and hoopla on BB creams, here's my take on the ultimate BB Cream from a Korean company which was amongst the first few to initiate the trend in early 2000 in the Asian continent on the highly acclaimed yet equally debated Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm. 

I always feel a sense of relief when I know a Beauty Balm that I am trying out originates from the East as I have tried a few from British brands and they have only turned out be a extension of the Tinted Moisturiser albeit catering for a huge variety of skin tones. 

What's this supposed to do?

This particular one has an SPF of 30 to protect skin from the harmful rays of the sun, which apparently are present in the winter as well, believe it or not. In my opinion, the best way to prevent skin from ageing is to regularly top up SPF as it prevents skin from drying, hardening and then eventually getting all wrinkly. It's even better when it comes in a base product like this!

Secondly, what the product promises is to cover the blemishes on the face and rejuvenate the skin. Coming to the first part of the claim, the product itself is so pigmented that it manages to cover moderate blemishes quite successfully. I don't find it breaks out confused, combination skin as mine, going further to prove that it can also prevents blemishes from developing in the first place. As for the second half of the claim, the product surprisingly dries to a semi-matte finish with just the right amount of glow it. It mimics how the skin would glow naturally on a good day, so surely it helps the face look brighter and happier.

My only gripe with this flawless product is that I would wear it every single day, even outside home for its full coverage and great longevity if it would not be as pale as it is in reality. I tried to look up if it came in different shades but surprisingly, only one shade is supposed to fit all when it comes to authentic BB creams.

I am not complaining and I even wear it quite shamelessly embracing the paleness this winter but it is starkly paler than my naturally olive-tanned NC30 skin colour as you can probably tell.

The texture of the product is hydrating and can get slightly oily in the t-zone after mid-day.

If you are looking for a medium-full coverage BB cream, that feels light on the skin, absorbs well, does not tackily sit on the top and can be worn outside without a second thought, this would be it.

However, do try swatching it on the back of your hand or neck if you get a chance to when in Boots.

A 50ml tube is available for £22 at Boots