Friday, 4 November 2011

Catrice Limited Edition Bohemia Definition Bronzer (review and swatches)



 Swatched heavily
 Swatched heavily natural daylight

As you can tell from the pretty packaging, this bronzer is from the Catrice Limited Edition Bohemia Collection. I don't know if there are any other pale ladies who find it impossible to get a nice, natural, healthy looking bronzer appropriate for the winter, you know something that does not look like patches of mud on your cheeks. 

Girls, look no further. This bronzer is amazing for pale skin. It's not even a bronzey colour really, it's a mixture of a peachy/golden/bronze colour, but it's quite light. And even though it is light in colour, the powder is very pigmented, as in you don't need alot of the product to build up colour, and the colour is perfectly buildable so you can choose what finish you want yourself and i just LOVE having that option. 

The powder is nice and soft and picks up easily on your brush, I use my MAC kabuki brush for this. What is really great about the pan is that it is nice and big so there is plenty of space to swirl your brush to pick up product and again, I love this feature, it's one of those things you didn't really know you appreciate until you experience it first hand.

What i also love about this bronzer is that even though it is matte, it gives off a lovely healthy but not shimmery sheen when applied, and so many of the bronzers that I have already are shimmery, and i find in winter especially that's just too much. I adore my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick compact in Nude but I find I can only wear it in summer, but this Catrice bronzer is definitely winter friendly, and I am sure it will look great in the summer too. It even smells nice and for €4.49, it defo represents some serious bang for your buck!

***** LOVE it!


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Catrice Limited Edition Bohemia Nail Lacquer in CO2 'Bring me Terra-Copper'


When I saw that Catrice were launching a new special limited edition range called Bohemia, I was super excited, and when I first saw the new range laid out, this colour just sprung out at me, it looked kinda coppery but more orange than metallic in the bottle, I have other copper nail varnishes but none of them looked as orange as this and I am trying to build up every colour on the colour spectrum now so I said I'd pick up one of these. 

Initial impressions upon application: wow, wow, wow!!

One coat of this nail lacquer gives amazing coverage, i think it must be one of the only nail polishes I own that give great results from just one single coat, and not even a heavy one at that! It is so shiny, so packed with really really fine glitter that it doesn't even look glittery, just really metallic, and it is such an unusual pretty colour.

I think the secret must be in the formula, I have like ten different shades of Catrice nail lacquers now but this one is different, it's kind of thicker but don't get me wrong, not think in a gone off nail varnish way, but just not dripping off the brush before you even put it near your nail. It dries so super fast i was shocked, by the time i got to my right hand, my left was completely dry. I hate waiting for nail polish to dry, I inevitably always smudge a nail even if i sit still for half an hour. The formula of this really is gorgeous and I am still in a bit of shock at how just one coat gave such a strong colour effect. If i didn't actually paint my nails myself, i don't think i would believe it looking at the end result!

The pictures don't really do the colour justice, it's such a lovely colour, unlike anything I have ever seen before, like i said my eyes were drawn to it immediately on the display. It is just the most beautiful terracotta colour but it applies so glossily AND the formula leaves none of those nasty streaky marks that I have come across with so many other different lines.

The bottle is really pretty too, same shape as the ordinary non limited edition line but the top is decorated with this beautiful bohemian swirly art design and i think it is so cute. I also LOVE the way Catrice name all their colours with the best names ever, i think it's super smart, like some cosmetics lines prefer numbers or some just state the colour, but the nomenclature of all the Catrice products make me smile, 'Bring me Terra-copper'- terra-copper is a great way to describe this particular colour and i just love the ingenuity behind the brand.

It promises: 'ultimate colour, ultimate gloss, ultimate coverage'. It delivers easily on all three fronts. It costs just €2.79. Gorgeous, love it, highly recommend it, defo ***** rating! Pick it up before it's gone because it is a limited edition! 
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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Catrice Gel Eyeliner in 010 'Black Jack with Jack Black'




Packaging:
This comes in a little glass jar with a black screw top lid (the lid depends on the colour of liner you get) and it feels really secure and sturdy. The top fastens really well also which is important because this product could potentially dry out very quickly. The liner comes as is, no other packaging, and unlike some other brands like Maybelline and e.l.f., it doesn't come with a brush, but I never use any of those brushes in any case so that's not a disadvantage to me.

Product:
This really is the blackest of black, it is really dark both in the jar and when applied. In fact I would say it's probably a bit too dark for daytime use, even when applied really finely. It is so creamy, far creamier that the e.l.f. cream liner and not as gel like as the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner and i think it's just a little bit harder to apply than the latter, but i use the long handled e.l.f. Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush because it gives a bit more control. I think the product smells bad but it's only when you open it to put it on that you pick up the smell of it really, it's a strong chemical smell and it just turns my stomach a bit but you can't smell it on your eyelids once applied obviously so that's probably a fussy point. It cost €4.49 and you get plenty of the product for that price, and the staying power of this is crazy long, in fact so much so it's quite difficult to get off even with special eye make up remover. 

Verdict:
I like it and i'd like to try other colours, but it would not be my favourite gel eyeliner. I think it is more of a cream eyeliner than gel because of the consistency, and i wouldn't recommend this if you are any way nervous about application or have a shaky hand!

Star Rating:
****
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Monday, 31 October 2011

Catrice Multi Colour Blush in 010 Riviera Rose





This blush costs just €4.49. It comes in typical Catrice transparent packaging which I like because it is simplistic and since the products are always presented so nicely, it's nice to be able to see them. All Catrice packaging is really sturdy and this is certainly no exception.

I use all four colours together to make a nice peachy/pink blush with just a hint of shimmer. I think it is a perfect summer and winter blush for pale skin. It is nicely pigmented and buildable which I like because you can decide exactly how much or how little you like and I like to have the option. 

I think you could use any of the colours that make up this blush individually as highlighters and they are sufficiently pigmented to have a bit of a wow impact. I think this blush gives a natural healthy glow. The blush is not too powdery but it is easy to pick up and very blendable. I think that this has great staying power too, especially for a budget brand.

I really like this and I definitely recommend giving this a try.

*****
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NYC Lipstick Collection

I was looking for some sheer lipsticks and one name that kept popping up in all my searches was NYC Cosmetics, so I purchased one, I loved it and then I went back and got four more. There are only €2.49 each.

 (L-R: Lilac Dream/Rose Petal/Blue Rose/Snowcone/Smooch)
 (L-R: Lilac Dream/Rose Petal/Snowcone/Blue Rose/Smooch)

(L-R: Lilac Dream/Rose Petal/Blue Rose/Snowcone/Smooch)

Packaging:
Bearing in mind that these cost just €2.49 each, the packaging in these is ok. What I don't like is that the lipstick does not wind down fully all the way which means that it's really easy to clip to lipstick with the top when putting it back on and with these ones in particular, I keep accidentally denting them :-( Aside from my inability to stop taking chunks out of the lipsticks, the packaging is ok, it feels pretty sturdy, it winds all the way up and all the way down and when wound up, it does not budge so it seems pretty secure in the container.

Product:
I love these for being sheer colours great for daytime wear. I have loads of creamy high pigmented lipsticks and lots of glosses but what I was really looking for was a lipstick appropriate for daytime wear, and i didn't want anything too colourful. These apply really easily and they stay put but I would find myself reapplying every couple of hours because they tend to fade a bit but they do not bleed and I have never needed to use a liner with these either. The only thing I hate about these is the taste of the lipstick, it tastes like crayons or something, it reminds me of the taste of children's makeup, and no matter what I do I cannot get used to the taste, it's not even an acquired taste, it's just really not nice.

Verdict:
Great for daytime wear when you are looking for a sheer lipstick but be prepared for a nasty taste!

Star Rating:
***
I feel a bit mean giving it just three stars but have to knock a star off for both the dodge packaging and the horrible taste.
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Catrice Smokey Eyes Set in 010 'Smoking Area'





The Catrice Smokey Eye sets come in three varieties and I have the grey set. I am obsessed with smokey eyes and I really judge a brand on their smokey eye offerings, and because I am really liking Catrice, I could not wait to get my paws on this set. It was only €4.99.

It comes with all the shades you need to create a smokey eye look, and what I really like about this palette above others that I have tried is that the darkest colour is actually a cream eyeshadow which means it is far more pigmented than a powder and I think it really adds some drama to a smokey eye. When i got the set first i thought it was a gel liner but having tried this out a few times, it doesn't have the consistency of a gel liner really, but it's nicely smudgable and I rate that. 

What is really adorable about this set is that on the back there are directions on how to achieve the perfect smokey eye look, and i thought this was a lovely little addition. 

The packaging on this is typical Catrice transparent and so sturdy, it feels like you could drive a car over this and it wouldn't even crack.

 The set also comes with a little applicator with a double sided sponge applicator on one side and a little angled brush on the other for the cream shadow liner. 

The colours are really pigmented and blend easily and last for ages, I have put this on before going out for the night and  return home still in tact and crease free.

I would totally recommend this to anybody who likes to try out a smokey eye look, and i'd definitely give it a whopping ***** rating!

Hope this has helped! xxx
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e.l.f. 32 piece Eyeshadow Palette Naturals and Brights

The 32 piece palette collection is called the e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow palette on the US website and comes in the colours Warm and Cool. On the UK website these are called Essential 32 piece palettes in the shades Naturals and Brights. Firstly, on a purely pedantic note again, I prefer the nomenclature of the US site because to say that the palette is full of natural colours implies it is a neutral palette and I wouldn't really agree, I think that could be misleading, but it is full of warm colours with lots of lovely and very non natural metallic colours. The most natural colours in these palettes are all matte and as I will explain below, these are awful quality. I wanted to get this palette anyway because I was curious about it but if I had purchased it under the representation of the UK site that it was a palette full of natural colours, like the Urban Decay Naked Palette, I would probably have been a bit miffed. Just a small point but one that I felt was worth making. These cost $5 (normally $10 apparently)/£6/€7 each.

Naturals/Warm






Brights/Cool






Packaging:
These palettes are approximately 11 x 16cm which seems quite small but I think that's half the charm with these, if they were huge cumbersome palettes they wouldn't be so compact and portable and easy to carry. They have a decent sized mirror on the lid and come with a single double-sided eyeshadow applicator but I prefer to use my own brushes for all my eyeshadows. Each individual eyeshadow is about 1.5 x 1.5 cm and I haven't hit pan on any of them yet but I haven't used any colour loads yet, i have just been trying out different things. I like the matte black finish of the cases, i just think it looks really sleek and professional, and they feel really sturdy and strong and not flimsy like some other palettes I have tried before.

Product:
Both palettes are a mixture of matte, shimmery and frosty colours and you get a good cross section in 32 colours a piece. The matte colours are hideous- bad quality, hard to pick up even, really disappointing. The frosty and glittery colours are really nice though, some are a little powdery so there's lots of fallout and you should be prepared for that. I usually have a fan brush next to me to swiftly sweep away any fallout but I know some people do their eye make up first and then apply the rest but I am so set in my ways now when it comes to my ritual and I don't think I can be changing at this hour of my life. I like the metallic shades in the naturals palette but out of the two i prefer the brights, largely because there are less matte colours or the matte colours present are more blendable and pigmented. 

Verdict:
Even though the nasty matte colours irked me, I think the other lovely colours make up for it. Convenient way to transport lots of eyeshadows, would recommend if you like to experiment with new looks and shadow combinations.

Star Rating:
***

Hope this helps xxx
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Essence Shimmer Powder in Prettylicious




I do like a nice touch of shimmer on big nights out, and when I swatched this on my hand ages ago I just had to get it. I think it cost €3.49 and it can be found on any Essence stand near you (ladies in Ireland- try local pharmacies and many branches of Dunnes Stores and Penneys also stock this line). I got this in the shade 'Prettylicious' (cute name!)

Packaging:
Again quite simplistic packaging from Essence but I actually happen to quite like this type of packaging. I looks kind of similar packaging wise to the e.l.f. Healthy Bronzing Powder range but there is alot more product is this compact. No mirrors or fancy stuff with this but can't say I miss it really.

Product:
I really like the shade of this product, I think it is a lovely subtle highlight for pale skin and on a gentle summer tan, this just adds a lovely healthy glow. It's shimmery but not chunky, and I would also say it's buildable, so if you are looking for a high shimmer finish, whack on a few coats. I'm not a big fan of the disco ball face though so I just like a quick brush or maybe a little bit under my brows or my cheekbones where I want to catch the light. I use my Sephora long handled kabuki brush to apply this just because it allows me to apply it quickly and liberally. I'd say it's more shimmery than colour, maybe pale salmon-ish pink but it doesn't really add colour, it's just a great highlight, and i personally wouldn't use it as an alternative to blush or bronzer. I don't think it has the longest lasting power but it's easy to bring with you so reapplying it is not a major ordeal. I think this is a really good highlight for pale skin in winter especially because the colour payoff is so low but you still get shimmer effect.

Verdict:
Cheap and cheerful, good value

Star Rating:
***

Hope this helps xxx
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Catrice Allround Concealer




Packaging:
I think this is adorable, and I love the simplistic packaging that Catrice offer. The cover is transparent so you can see the product easily and the long slim packaging makes this nice and portable also. If feels nice and sturdy also and I appreciate robust packaging because sometimes I can be unbelievably clutzy and things generally tend to break when they hit the ground at high speed!

Product:
Since I purchased this concealer, I have hardly looked at another. This beauty cost €3.99  and comes with three skin shades, a pink and a green. The consistency on these is great, they are light enough to not clog your skin and still they provide excellent colour, they blend easily and foundation glides over them smoothly leaving no tell tale signs.

I use the palest colour under my eyes if the area is not too bluish and doesn't need much help and just a bit of brightening. I use the second beige colour to cover blemishes, I always find a slightly darker concealer is best because lighter ones tend to highlight blemishes and obviously it's traumatic enough having them, you don't want to draw any more attention to them, and I haven't found a use for the middle shade yet but I am open to suggestions!

The pink concealer has a kind of peachy/orange undertone which is perfect for tackling the undereye area and balancing out bags and circles, as well as just brightening up the inner eye areas, and it is the best pink concealer I have found by a mile. 

I also think the green is the perfect shade of green to counteract redness from blemishes and scars etc. I spent a long time being afraid of green concealers because I didn't know how to apply them correctly but less is definitely more and blending is the key and this green does a great job of neutralising, it's kind of a cool minty green and not a pea green like some other green concealers I have tried and once blended in well, it completely disappears under foundation. 

Verdict:
If you're looking for an effective multi function concealer compact, look no further, this one is a gem.

Star Rating:
*****


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e.l.f. 100 piece Eyeshadow Collection

When this finally became available on the UK e.l.f. site (click HERE), I just had to have it. On the US site it is described as the Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Palette but the UK site has labelled it the 100 piece Eyeshadow Collection, as far as I can tell. it's only the name that is different. These retail at $10/£15/€17 (quite a substantial difference there taking into account various exchange rates but what can you do?).

What e.l.f. promise:
All-you’ll-ever-need professional eyeshadow assortments. Create a dark and smoky eye, a fresh and bright aura, or a totally fun and funky look with endless color options and textures to select from..




 Columns 1 and 2
 Columns 3 and 4
 Columns 5 and 6
Columns 7 and 8
Columns 9 and 10

Packaging:
There are alot of colours packed into this palette which measures a neat 19 x 23cm approx. I don't know why I thought it would be bigger, and it's not that i was disappointed, I think it's just from all the pictures I had seen I expected it to be the size of an A4 page. It's only about 1cm in depth also so it is very portable, and the plastic packaging looks and feels quite sturdy, and I like the transparent cover. There is a mirror on the lid underneath the black 'eyeslipsface' label and two little sponge tip applicators but I prefer to use my brushes for applying these shadows because I like to blend colours etc. Each colour itself is 2 x 1.5cm and i don't think there is much per colour but there has to be some catch when you get so many colours in one palette. If you use different colours all the time, I am sure this would last for ages.

Product:
There are a variety of different shadows in this palette- matte, shimmer, some chunky glitter ones, some frosty colours. The matte ones are really awful to be honest. Alot of them, particularly the lighter colours, are so hard to swatch and pick up and they apply so sheer that it's like you never put them on at all and they are not well pigmented. The shimmer and frosty colours are great for the most part, good pigmentation, but some are a little on the chalky side and there is alot of fallout with them so you need to have a good fan brush on hand when applying them. They last quite a long time to be fair when used with a good primer, I used the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow primer and a touch of the e.l.f. Translucent Mattifying Powder and it did the trick nicely. There is such variety of colours which makes it great for blending, some of blues, greens and pinks are really bright and pigmented so this palette would be a great way to easily introduce colour into your eyeshadow collection. There are no shades I wouldn't use in it really but to be very honest, I just wouldn't bother with the matte shadows because they are hard to pick up and the pigmentation is so poor. There are about a dozen or so matte colours like this so in a palette of 100, it's not that bad really.

Verdict:
If you like eyeshadows and experimenting with colour, this is the palette for you because the options are endless.

Star Rating:
****

Hope this has been helpful xx
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Catrice Nail Lacquer 'Caught on the Red Carpet'


I adore Catrice nail polishes, they are my my favourites beyond doubt. They only cost €2.79 each here in Ireland and they are better quality than any other nail polishes I have ever come across before. This is the most recent one that I picked up in the shade 070 'Caught on the Red Carpet', a gorgeous deep rich red that looks darker in the bottle than it does on nails but is the most gorgeous shade of red.

Packaging:
I love the packaging on this nail polishes, the brush is a really nice size, not too wide but not too small and the big black top is neat. You get 10 mls of product in this bottle.

Product:
Catrice nail lacquers are a great consistency and this is no exception, i like the way the mixture is quite thin, but one coat of this gives you great coverage and two coats seal the deal. I dislike thick nail varnishes because they just look grainy and lumpy and take ages to dry. Catrice nail lacquers dry super quick, like crazy fast, by the time you have your second hand finished, the first hand is completely dried and set. The lasting power on these is off the scale also- at least three days before it starts to chip (e.l.f. nail polishes don't even last a day before they start chipping) and even at that they are easily fixed. They also come off pretty easily with nail varnish remover too and none of the Catrice colours that I have gotten so far have stained my nails in the slightest. I have like 10 colours now and I am going to continue to keep purchasing these, they have not let me down yet! I really like red nails but i am fussy about the shade of red but this one is really great, darker than a blood red, but really glamorous at the same time and perfect for a bit of Hallowe'en glamour!

Verdict:
Love this colour, I've finally found my favourite red nail lacquer and the quality of this is great. Applies easily, lasts ages and comes off easily, can't ask for more!

Star Rating:
*****

Toodle pip xx :-)
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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Mini e.l.f. Haul

Stocking up on e.l.f. essentials and backups, there comes a point when you actually own everything and have nothing new to try! I already had the 32piece brights palettes but I said I would try out the naturals one also, i'll try to get some swatches up online as soon as poss. 

Dear e.l.f., please bring in new stock soon, and please restock all those items that have been out of stock for months! 

One of my eyeliner and shadow sticks was faulty so I had to email customer care and I haven't heard back from them yet. In fairness, they are usually quite fast to respond and always resolve any issues, this is only my second time contacting them (even though I must admit I have let a few things slide). 


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Clinique Shimmering Tones Powder in 'In The Pink'

I purchased this in Sephora in NYC for about $28 dollars i think but I don't think it's available in Ireland or the UK anymore and I know that because I have accidentally sent many looking for this! It is such a pity you can't get this here and it actually makes me not want to use it because I absolutely adore this. It also came in a bronze colour but when I swatched the pink, I just had to have it and I had already picked up a bronzer.





Packaging:
Ok it's not the shiniest Clinique packaging I have ever seen but it's small and sturdy and neat and I really rate it. It's pink but transparent so you can see the mosaic detail of the product and i like that. 

Product:
I love this as a highlighter or an eyeshadow. It can be very pink and the smallest hint is all you need to catch the light but I feel so healthy when I have this on, it just really gives a lovely glow, i wouldn't say it was in your face pink like a blusher but under a certain light, this can do marvellous amazing things, i love how the light hits it. Because of the mosaic detail you can pick which colours you would like to use as shadows which is really handy, I like to put a small bit in the inner corners of my eye in summer just for a treat. 

Verdict:
I wish I had the option of repurchasing this because I love it and the fact that Clinique are no longer selling it (to the best of my knowledge at least) makes me not want to waste this!

Star Rating:
*****

Thanks for reading xxx
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