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Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Okay, I promised yesterday that if this post got enough comments, I'd post the Duckface That Went Astray pic.  Well, here it is.

After the jump!


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Zuneta Tuesday

It's Tuesday, so that means it's my last day blogging on Zuneta for a couple of weeks, please pop by and say hello!

Lippie rambles at Zuneta

Be lovely to see you, I've made a right idiot of myself this week, let's see what you think! ;)

Monday, 12 April 2010

Clarins Instant Sunlight Quad

I popped into Debenhams last week for some shampoo, and I got myself distracted by some of the new summer collections that have come out.  Clarins in particular, really caught my eye, and I really liked the look of this eyeshadow palette:

I'm always a sucker for a slinky silver compact - not entirely convinced about the suedette pochette, to be honest - but the contents of this one are lovely (first shot no flash, second shot with):

Looks to me like it'll be pretty versatile,  here's some finger swatches:

Do you have your eye on any of the summer collections?  What's caught your eye?

The Small Print: I bought this, with money.  I didn't get any shampoo.  I'm not fit to be let out in a shop alone.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Highlighters - Pressed Powders

Whoo, got here eventually!  Now, pressed powders are my favourite kind of highlighters, I just find them easier to apply, and they're more forgiving when you accidentally overapply.  first off, let's take a look at a highlighter I recently rediscovered as a result of my rummaging:

Trish McEvoy Blush Highlight: Oh, this is a pretty one.  Yes, it's a bit sparkly in the pan, but it applies very silkily (is that a word?), and it adds a very nice hint of colour to your cheekbones.  This one is especially good swirled over your blusher, or over a bronzer to bring it to life a little. Now I've rediscovered it, I'm going to use it more and more often.  I love the colours in my charger, and digging it back out has reminded me that there are a couple of slots free, and I'm thinking I might fill them with some more eyeshadows.  Trish McEvoy is a great brand - if you can avoid being sold the ENTIRE RANGE whenever you step near their counters - and I'll talk to you more about the rest of the things I have from her soon.

I've posted about this one before: YSL Y-Mail Palette.  Shall we play a game of spot the swatch?  It is there, I promise you, first one to tell me where it is gets a prize! Ironically, even though it hasn't photographed at all well, I do still like this one a lot, as you can tell from where the lettering has been wearing off! It's a subtle (if you avoid the glittery bit) brightening powder that just adds a hint of glow to your finished makeup, and stops your foundation looking too cake-y, in the same way a spritz of toner is meant to.  I don't do the toner thing, being a non-believer in it, and also, having a mild paranoia about spraying things on my face.  But yes, be wary of the glitter if you go for this one.

Saving what is probably my favourite for last: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige. I don't know if you can tell from the pic but this is one battered piece of kit!  Several of the strips have fallen out over the years (and it is several years old), have been pushed back in, it's been dropped - a lot - and it was used practically every day for about three years, as a highlighter and an eyeshadow (can't do that with a liquid illuminator, alas!), and it's still going strong.  I thought it wouldn't be versatile when I bought it, but I was very wrong - I remember thinking "Urgh, beige, how boring!"  at the time, but it's great on most skin-tones, and the addition of the more pinky-golden shades mean you can use the individual strips as brow, cheek or eye colours, should you want to.  Highly recommended.

I'm away this weekend, so there won't be any posts - sorry! - but I'll be back on Monday with some Illuminators that double up as blushers.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Great Customer Service?

Let's face it, sometimes beauty counters aren't places where we can particularly expect good customer service, are they?  From the pushy-pushy OFLs (Orange-Faced Ladies), to the OFLs who treat you like a criminal for daring to even look at their products, to the OFLs who just want to "warm you up a little",  and then there are the ones who just ignore you and chat amongst themselves, the ones who make you look like drag queens, the ones who want you to join them on the Orange side, the ones who recommend colours your granny wouldn't be seen dead in, and the ones who insist your colouring is warm when it's actually cool (and vice versa) they're all irritating.

But very little is more irritating than being sold a dud product (we've all done it, bought something to get away) and then not being able to return it once it's left the store.  Until I wised myself up, and learned to stand my ground, I bought more orange foundations and too-pink lipsticks  than I could count, and I was always, but always just stuck with the useless things.

Which is why this is a nice post to write because on Tuesday night I popped into Givenchy at Debenhams and bought a couple of their limited edition Parad'eyes  No5 Poetic Lavender (singularly misnamed, as it's black with gorgeous blue spangles in it) and No 9 Nude Impression (which is a nude shade, with white and gold spangles in it).  However, when I got home, I discovered I'd actually been given No 6 Pearl (I didn't know the names of the shades until, of course, AFTER I'd checked).  Now, this might not have been such a bad thing, but No 6 was pink.

Baby pink liquid liner.

Seriously, a lovely way to make yourself look like you have an eye infection, don't you think?  Unusable, if you ask me, plus I look like DEATH in pastels of any description anyway.  I was dreading taking it back.  Cosmetics companies are notoriously crap at accepting returns - even on unused, still in the shrink-wrap products - and I was expecting to be turned down flat.  I was very pleasantly surprised, the SA took the blame completely (remembering my purchase of the previous evening, to boot) and swapped the products over without a murmur, or accusation of being too pale, even once. I was, it has to be said, gobsmacked.

So thank you nameless - and shame on me, there - Givenchy counter assistant at Debenhams Oxford Street, your good service is much appreciated!

Swatches and a FotD will follow, the Parad'eyes liners are really gorgeous, even if the package is a bit ... well, stupid.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Organic Wednesday - Jurlique

I first discovered Jurlique about ten years ago, after getting myself a nasty bruise whilst on a trip to Brisbane.  My host smothered the affected area with their arnica cream, and I've been interested in the brand ever since.  Once exceptionally difficult to find in the UK, their products are becoming easier to track down over here these days, which is a good thing as they've also massively expanded their product range in the last couple of years too.

An Australian range - why is it that there are so many Australian organic brands, does anyone know? -  dedicated to organic, biodynamic and natural ingredients, I tried a couple of things, some new, some not so new, just to see how they were doing:

First off: Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator:

This isn't your normal scrubby-type exfoliator, this one, you apply a thin layer to your face, leave it in place for five minutes then rinse it off.  No massaging, and no potential eye-irritating beads or seeds. It's basically a mask which contains a mix of enzymes which will make your skin softer.  And, it really does. Several fruits (papaya and pineapple spring to mind) contain an enzyme which soften skin - and, if you'll excuse me for mentioning it, they will also tenderise meat - and this mask makes the most of that softening effect.

In use, I found that this gave me a very definite tingling sensation, which means I'd use it far less often than the 2-3 times a week recommended on the packaging (and in all honesty, I don't think anyone needs to exfoliate this thoroughly more often than once a week anyway), but once rinsed off, skin was noticeably softer and more than a little smoother, I liked the effects a lot.  Skin also had a rosy glow after, but that could have been from an increased blood-flow to my face from the tingling!

An important thing to add about this product is that several of the ingredients are a natural source of Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids (AHAs) and they will increase your skin's senstivity to the sun, so if you do use this, please ensure you use a sunscreen for at least a week after, otherwise you may get sunburned, even in cloudy conditions.

Fruit enzyme exfoliator costs £33 at the official Jurlique website here.

I also tried their Soothing Herbal Recovery Gel, which in all honesty, I can't rave enough about. I have a couple of allergies which have a tendency to cause hives when I come into contact with particular irritants, and this little bottle has been a godsend. Ostensibly, it's a moisturiser for sensitive skin, and as such it works fine, it's pleasant and refreshing to use, and, while I don't like it as much as a more traditional cream or lotion moisturiser for that purpose, it's nice to use.

However, on hot, irritated, or blemished skin, this stuff  really comes into it's own. On hives, this instantly soothes the burning, itching sensation, and helps to reduce any swelling. Plus if you suffer from headaches, a thin layer of this left "mask-style" on your forehead and temples really helps to soothe and cool a hot head. I love this stuff, and keep my bottle of it handy at all times! My skin doesn't normally tolerate gels all that well, but I had no issues with this one at all.

Soothing Recovery Gel costs £45 at the official Jurlique website.

Finally, I also tried their Moisture Replenishing Day Cream, which is a thick yellow ointment with a faintly dusty, herbal smell. The dusty smell is from the chamomile which is a major ingredient of this cream.  Specifically formulated for dryer skins, this  does give a nice moisture boost to the skin without leaving you feeling too greasy.  I'll be honest, I like this cream, but I don't love it.  It does what it says it will, with no frills and furbelows, but let's face it, I think I like a little luxury - or at least a little multi-tasking - from my face cream.  To be fair though, it doesn't promise to do anything outside of making your skin soft, so on that count, it really delivers!

Moisture Replenishing Day Cream costs £27 at the official Jurlique website.

Have you tried any Jurlique products?  What did you think?  You can also find Jurlique products at Zuneta (where the Soothing Herbal Recovery Gel is on sale for an amazing £5.88!) and Being Content.

The Small Print: This post features a mixture of products I bought myself and items sent for review purposes.  It doesn't matter which is which, I like what I like, and I don't what I don't, where it came from is not of any relevance to that.  So there.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Highlighters - loose powders

Following on from yesterday's post, here's some loose powder highlighters I have.  To be fair, there's only two, but there is a reason for that, as we'll see:

Revlon Skinlights highlighter: I'm not sure if this one is still available or not, but it's one I'm not that fond of, being a bit, well, gravelly, and exceedingly glittery. A little bit of it does go a very long way though, this pot is a couple of years old (it has seen regular use) and it's still very full.  It's great if you want to dress yourself up as a fairy, or need something with a little more pizazz. Subtle it isn't. It's also useful dusted very lightly over a matte eyeshadow look to give it a shimmery, glittery effect, which is what I mainly use it for. But it's far too glittery for use as a cheek highlight on my pale-custard coloured skin, alas.

Bare Escentuals Clear Radiance: I've had this little pot for a while, and I'll be honest, I don't use it very often.  It's not actually meant to be used as a highlighter proper (or what I think of as proper highlighter use, anyway, which might not be the same thing), it's more meant to  be used as an all-over "brightening" or radiance powder.  I find the lightly pinky peach shade is fairly flattering, more so than the more usual silvery pinks, but even so, I can't figure out a way to use this without it making me feel like I'm wearing a gauze-y mask.  Anyone else have this problem?

Am I missing a trick here?  Are there any loose highlighter powders around that are amazing? What are your recommendations?
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