Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Dishonest Advertising

This has got to be the single most annoying thing in beauty advertising. If companies are going to use false eyelashes when advertising eyelash products, then they should be advertising false lashes, not the mascara hidden underneath it. I (and I suspect, most people) are aware that there is a fair bit of photoshopping and trickery going on in ads; whitening toothpaste advertised on people with whitened teeth or by use of ps; skin enhanced digitally for foundation and various other things, which if being used when another thing is being advertised e.g. whitened teeth when they are selling lipstick etc is absolutely fine but it isn't when the product being advertised is being linked to these effects, especially where the disclaimer does not make it clear* that you will not get these effects from that product.

This is seriously one of the reasons I don't tend to buy anything I can't test or find reviewed and swatched on an independent blog, I reason that if someone has had to put their hand in their pockets and paid for a product they didn't like they will be honest about it, not something you will ever expect get from the big companies who will of course tell you their product is amazing and you need it in order to ensure the continuing advertising revenue. Magazines are usually not much better. Makeup Forever released an unretouched ad this year and the models foundation looked amazing and whilst she was probably chosen for having amazing, flawless skin it was hers and not courtesy of post-production.  I don't think anyone could claim that this has harmed their business.

I am not anti-photoshop, I do use it myself but not to change the product or how it looks (I will cover up spots when swatching lipstick but not foundation or face products).

*Meaning the disclaimer is either non existent or hidden down at the bottom or in a corner.

Now What?

I have just finished University (as long as I have passed- which I should have a better idea of in 2 weeks) and in between job hunting, I am at a loss for things to do. I am supposed to start a Masters in September (depending on grades and a job to pay for it) but until then I won't have much to occupy myself with as I am now just unemployed ( and will not be going on jobseekers) rather than a student so I won't be able to buy much in the way of makeup until this changes.

I have started writing (not sure whether it will be a novel or a collection of stories) my own stuff (rather than the fanfic's I used to write) and I am intending to start learning Russian and possibly improving my Standard Grade German (possibly a strange choice of activities for a dyslexic).

Trying to decide on a look for graduation; the colours are terracotta, gold and light blue, not a combination I normally wear and not one I am too keen on. I don't know whether or not I could get away with a bolder look (goldilux on lid/a shimmery terracotta in the crease/ light blue on the lower lashline), a more classic look (like the one Adele is wearing in the top photo) or a 'barely there' look.

More Jess (taken a while ago):

In my brothers chest of drawers.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Random Post (Contains a Cat)

Was really bored last night after tidying my room so I decided to do something with the various pamphlets from various cosmetics companies, this is what I ended up with:

Just blu-taked onto the back of an old £3 whiteboard, these are just too pretty to leave in a drawer.

 Jess was at the vet about 2 weeks ago as I didn't like the look of one of her teeth, which it turned out was infected and had to be removed under anesthetic. According to the vet about 80% of cats and dogs will have tooth disease and in a cat Jess's age (15 1/2) they will usually remove all of their teeth rather than just the one; it must be in part due owners not usually checking their teeth (a difficult task with Jess, usually she'll get annoyed and run away but this time she sat still so I got a good look, so it must have been hurting her and she hadn't been eating right). She is much better and she immediately started to eat better and has put on weight so she is doing well and is a nice, healthy cat. She does have a shaved front leg.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

EOTD: Browns

Not posted one of these in ages.

MAC Soft Force e/s- all over lid
MAC Tempting e/s- Crease and blended up
MAC Night Manoevers e/s-Crease
High Voltage Cosmetics Loki e/s- Inner Crease
Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Black
Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara
Barry M White eyeliner

Swatches: Lip Whips from High Voltage Cosmetics

Lip Whips $6.25 from High Voltage Cosmetics

Tainted Love, Hot Head, Synth Pop, Midnite Desire
Tainted Love
Hot Head
Synth Pop
Midnite Desire ( sadly it made my teeth look incredibly yellow)

Swatches: Lip Candies from High Voltage Cosmetics

Lip Candies $6.50 (approx. £ 3.98)

Just A Girl, Ultra Violet, Beth, Fashionably Late and Orestea.
Just A Girl
Ultra Violet
Fashionably Late

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Obligatory Sugarpill Post

This is possibly one of my all time favourite brands as I can't praise it more highly. Every review of Sugarpill I have read has been positive and when I first bought the first quad I was really impressed but held off writing any sort of review until now for a couple of reasons: i) There is nothing in this review that hasn't been said in more or less every other review and as result there is no great need to rush to put it out; ii) I wanted to get a good selection of the products and get a good usage out of them; and iii) I normally order from UK based retailers (love-makeup and cocktail cosmetics) and wanted to order stuff in from Sugarpill in the US.Quads in Burning Heart and Sweetheart
False Lashes
Chromalusts in Goldilux, Absinthe, Royal Sugar, Tipsy, Hysteric and Weekender; sample chromalust in Birthday Girl
Burning Heart Quad: Flamepoint, Buttercupcake, Love+ and Poison Plum. Top row is on bare skin, bottom on TFSI

Sweetheart Quad: Dollypop, Afterparty, Midori and Tako.

The colours are very bold and are much the same on the skin as they are in the pallette. As can be seen from the swatches they don't need primer to make them any stronger but it is still a good idea as they can sometimes stain the eye (esp. Love+ and Poison Plum) as well as helping to eradicate the dreaded creasage (how we lived pre-primer I have no idea). If you love bright colours and don't already have this then I can't recommend this highly enough.

Left to Right: Absinthe, Tipsy, Goldilux, hysteric, Weekender, Royal Sugar, and Birthday Girl (all over TFSI).

I have mentioned in the past that I am not a big fan of loose shadows except for these. The chromalusts are just amazing; they're vibrant, shimmery, some are really glittery and they are all really gorgeous and unique. I will definitely be buying more once I have a job (really want Stella next).

You can't really talk about Sugarpill without mentioning the packaging which is sturdy and functional, the quads have mirrors and feel reasonably heavily (which to me implies quality). It is just really, really pretty and it is really obvious that the owner has put a lot of thought into her product and invested a lot of her time and energy into the whole product rather than just parts of it. Even the samples are very well designed:
I received an email on the first working day after I ordered to say it was sent and it arrived about 2 weeks later (left at the front door, in full view of a very busy main road despite everyone being in at the time, which led to the box (which has the cute Sugarpill kitty on it) nearly being stood on by my brother- I really hate Royal Mail.)

This is a company that deserves to do well: the product is great, unique and has been really well thought out.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sun Protection

As a pale skinned Scot, I have learned the importance of good sun protection through some very painful experiences: one of which resulted in my back and shoulders blistering and the skin eventually splitting (it was really painful and really disgusting) and the other resulted in being in a lot of pain from the actual burn and in an excruciating headache, vomiting and dizziness, both of which happened in the UK and I didn’t even tan (although I wasn’t trying to).

In light of the abnormally hot weather we have had in the UK and we are being told to expect this summer (although we are often told it will be a barbeque summer to get rained on from June to September), I have invested in some sunscreen. In choosing this I have considered a couple of factors, namely: my skin colour/type, the SPF, UVA/UVB and do I want to tan.

As I have very light ‘Celtic’ type skin, which always burns and never tans, I always choose the highest factor I can lay my hands on (usually SPF 30 or 50).

Sunscreen tends to irritate my face but I have found on that doesn’t seem to cause any problems (Soltan Once Face SPF 30, £9.99 from Boots) and I also got the Soltan Invisible Spray (SPF 50, £ 11.99 from Boots) for my neck, chest and arms (I don’t sunbathe and I keep well covered). Soltan has been the stuff I have used the longest (first started buying it after watching Dude, Where’s My Car? as the name was like Zoltan and it was amusing to do the Z hand signal and ask for it when out with my friends-sad I know) and most consistently and this is the brand which I find to be least sticky and most effective (I tend to stick to the mid-price range- not usually sunny enough to justify more here).

Boots are also selling solar sports dry sunscreen for “scalp and skin” (£5.10) which is apparently very good for spraying on hair partings to avoid burning (as happens every single year). I am really keen to see how effective this one is, as it is the part of the body which gets the least protection (unless you wear a hat) and if you are outside walking around it gets the most direct sun.

Also bought the Nivea Sun Protect lipbalm (£3.16), which I’m not too keen on as it turns lips whitish and doesn’t feel especially nice but if in a hot environment it might be better.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Swatches: Barry M Lip Paints (Part 3)

lp146- Dolly pink
lp62- Vibrant Pink
lp121- Pillar Box Red
lp54- Peach

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Black Vetyver Café Cologne by Jo Malone

Black Vetyver Café Cologne by Jo Malone, £34.00 (30 mls), £68.00(100mls)

I hesitated before writing this review as I was convinced that I must be wrong in my intense dislike of it due to the overwhelmingly positive
reviews of it elsewhere.
For a long time I had been desperate to try Jo Malone products as they look lovely and the descriptions sound gorgeous, but as I don’t live near a store I had to buy online. I finally caved and bought a bottle last week. The description sounded lovely and I had the thought of a nice smoke-y coffee scent.
When it arrived I was really excited by the packaging, which is quite simple but sophisticated looking and I received 2 free samples which were nice; when I first smelled the perfumes I was really disappointed that I had paid for the one I had and if I’m honest, I still am.

I applied it as I normally would and within 15 minutes I had to shower it off as it seemed to get progressively stronger to the point where it was offensive and I felt nauseous. I have tried wearing it by spraying it once in to the air and walking through the mist; this did seem to work and it was much more wearable, however, every time I even think about it I feel a bit sick and don’t think I will ever wear it again.
According to the website the main smells are;
Top Note: Coffee Bean
Heart Note: Coriander Leaf
Base Note: Temple Incense
To be honest I can’t smell any coffee and it doesn’t smell anything like what I was expecting. It doesn’t smell too bad, in fact if it hadn’t smelled so strongly the first time I wore it I might have really liked it. The two samples were really nice (Nectarine Blossom and Honey and White Jasmine and Mint) and I might buy one of those in the future or if I can get to a store I might try one of the others but I don’t think I’ll go for this one again.
If anyone wants this one (only been spritzed 5 times) contact me and I might sell it as I don’t see the point in keeping something I know I won't wear again.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lime Crime Airborne Unicorn on Lips

DSCF0079 by mist_avenger
DSCF0079, a photo by mist_avenger on Flickr.

Lime Crime Airborne Unicorn

DSCF0076 by mist_avenger
DSCF0076, a photo by mist_avenger on Flickr.

Lime Crime Airborne Unicorn Lipstick

For a long time I have debated about whether or not I should try this lipstick/brand. It would be fair to say that there has been very mixed reviews about the lipsticks and that brand as a whole; I did not buy from the Lime Crime site, so I cannot say whether or not the service is good, bad or indifferent and in light of this I feel that it would be unfair to go into it or the controveries surrounding the brand or its owner. I bought from Cocktail Cosmetics (also available from love-makeup) and it arrived in 2 days and cost £14 (cheaper than Space NK, much dearer than the equivalent cost from Lime Crime where it would amount to less than £10, but the UK is a rip off for everything). It is slightly dearer than a MAC lipstick and it as it is not sold in any stores near me, it could not swatched or tested before hand, which made me more cautious about purchasing.

The packaging is one of the most obvious features of the product being a bright purple-y pink with a holographic unicorn. It looks similar to the shape of a MAC lipstick until you see them together and it is apparent that the MAC is narrower and the top is more tapered (although the actual lipstick it not any narrower) and the plastic of the MAC is thicker and feels sturdier. Whilst I quite like the packaging, it is much more dressing table pretty than handbag friendly; as I am going to be working in quite a serious environment and I am 25, not 15, I would look and feel a bit ridiculous if I pulled this out in front of people I know through work/uni and I don't think the casing could stand up to being in my handbag on a regular basis. That said it does look nice in my collection, especially when it is sunny.

As to the actual product itself there are a few things I can say about it, both positive and negative. The colour is a nice medium purple in the tube (looks a bit like Up the Amp by MAC), which applies quite smoothly and evenly on me and it is quite opaque, I haven't tried wearing it in one coat, unblotted straight from the tube as I very rarely do that anyway and it was long lasting and survived 2 cups of coffee without fading too much, it did seem to stain my hand a little but when I removed it with an oily remover it wasn't a problem . The main criticisms people seem to have is that it is drying and that it settles in to the lines of their lips. My experience has been that neither of these hold true from me although it is definitely advisable to exfoliate well before use as it does show up imperfections really clearly. Some of the problem with other reviews could be that the lipsticks when they were first released needed some adjustment to the formula. Some of the earlier swatches I have seen did not inspire me to part with my cash (this is in both positive and negative reviews), in fact some of them looked horrific and deeply unflattering. The lip swatch I have taken is fairly true to life and is an accurate representation of how it looked on me. This leads me to my biggest criticism of all and the one I have difficulty overlooking: the swatch on the Lime Crime website is quite different from the real life colour and texture. The LC swatch makes it looks really thick and luxurious and it looks bolder than it is IRL, of course I do recognise and expect a certain amount of photoshopping but it may prove to be a bit counter productive as there is intially a degree of disappointment when first using it. I have gotten over this but I think by using these swatches and for those expecting that (or at least close to that) effect and boldness it could be really disappointing and could put people off buying another lipstick from LC.

On the whole I do like the lipstick and will buy more LC lipsticks; it is a certainty that I will not be buying the eyeshadows due both the repackaging allegations, which appear to be valid due to the comparisons between LC and TKB colours in that they look identical, plus I really am not a fan of loose shadows, with the exception of Sugarpill Chromalusts (which I absolutely LOVE).

Since the cost of the lipsticks in the UK is so high it might be beneficial to order 3 from the US (approx. £30) instead of 2 from the UK (£30 from Space NK), if you can wait and want to take your chances with the taxman (I have heard everything from £17 to £27).

EDIT: The photos are not showing up as the usually do so I have had to upload the separately.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Swatches: Illamasqua Atomic and Flare Lipsticks

Brand: Illamasqua

Atomic (Pink)
Flare (Orange)
Collection: Toxic Nature S/S 2011
Price: £15.50 each

100th Post and Meadowhall Haul

I'm back after quite a long absence brought about due to excessive coursework, which will be over soon as the exams are next week and then it will all be over and done with (hopefully).

Went to Meadowhall in Sheffield to get a break from the revision yesterday; didn't spend as much as I thought I would but picked up a few nice things while I was there. Unfortunately, I also ended up eating a quarter of a seriously undercooked burger (a combination of low lighting and thinking it was just a bit pink until it started to ooze pink liquid and my Dad and I had to send our stuff back although my brothers chicken was fine) and I haven't felt right since, in fairness as soon as they were told everything was replaced and we were give two more massive bowls of chips, onion rings and drinks for free (more than we could manage- very depressing for my Dad who loves free stuff)

Too Faced Lash Injection
Too Faced Glitter Glue
Too Faced Glitter Pigment in Glampire (These were part of a 3 for 2 offer in Boots)
Sleek Lipsticks in Mystic, Amped Fuchsia and Cherry (2 for £6 in Superdrug).
Barry M nail paint in Indigo
Barry M Nail effects in pink, white and blue
MAC lipstick in Faux

Admittedly, I have done some more shopping online and have stuff due in the next day or so including one of the Lime Crime lipsticks which I have debated over buying since they came out; I have heard mixed reviews over the quality and the alleged practices of the Xenia, the owner have made me think twice, so I bought it from Cocktail Cosmetics and I hope it was worth the £14 I spent there but will review it when I have it.