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.

*****
SHARE:

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.
SHARE:

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
SHARE:

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
SHARE:

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
SHARE:

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:
*****


SHARE:

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
SHARE:

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 :-)
SHARE:

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). 


SHARE:

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
SHARE:

e.l.f. Mineral Blemish Kit

This comes from the e.l.f. Mineral line. They retail at $8/£6/€6.80. I picked this up for €3.40 during a 50% off sale. It is one of the most expensive products e.l.f. offer but it is full of natural ingredients like natural sulfur which is quite expensive, and I am always willing to pay that little bit more for quality skincare items.

What e.l.f. promise:
Heal and disguise blemishes with the all natural Mineral Blemish Kit. This translucent powder has active acne fighting ingredients like natural Sulfur, Tea Tree and Willow Bark to treat acne and prevent future breakouts while penetrating deep into the pores to control blackheads.



Packaging:
This mineral powder is sheer and comes in a pot of a similar size to the mineral foundations and blushes etc that e.l.f. offer but instead of the black top it has a shiny silver lid, and unlike the mineral eyeshadow, loads of product does not get dispersed and lodged in the tray, instead you just tap it out when you want it and I prefer this. It comes with a darling little concealer brush which is also pictured and unlike most brushes that e.l.f. provide with their products, this brush is perfect for use with the powder.

Product:
I think alot of these products are a bit of a leap of faith initially but I had read so many great things about this powder that I just had to try it for myself. I don't get spots very often but when I do get one, it's usually big and red and sore and makes me totally paranoid. Instead of just covering it up with concealer, i like to actually treat it, and that's why I use products like e.l.f. Zit Zapper and this Mineral Blemish Powder and things like Tea Tree Oil from Body Shop. Anyways, I had to wait a while before i had a blemish to try this out on, but low and behold one arrived and I applied this sheer powder at night after washing my face in cold water. I must actually say, despite the fact I was a little bit skeptical, it actually worked at reducing both the size, redness and soreness of the blemish, and it definitely disappeared way faster than normal- usually 3/4 days but was gone completely in 2 days. I have also tried it wet and applying it like a paste to the blemish and i found this was equally effective. Like I said, i don't get blemishes very often but when I do I was a quick effective solution and I really think that this powder is great, but seeing is believing, and you have to try it for yourselves. If you get blemishes, pop one of these into your 'bag' next time you are shopping online.

Verdict:
I actually feel guilty for doubting it!

Star Rating:
*****

Hope this helps xxx
SHARE:

e.l.f. Studio Bronzer in Cool

This bronzer is the only matte colour in the studio line. They retail at $3/£3.50/€4.

What e.l.f. promise:
Create a healthy looking glow all year round! The sheer soft powders provide the perfect hue of color. Blend all 4 colors together to achieve a blend of perfection or choose your favorite color or colors to mix, match and blend. 
Cool Bronzer- The ideal selection of matte colors to achieve a natural looking tan. Ideal for winter or year-round.



Packaging:
The packaging on this bronzer is the sleek studio packaging we have come to know and love in the e.l.f. Studio Line. There is no window in the product but under the lid there is a huge mirror which is really handy. The colour is divided into four quadrants, which normally wouldn't bother me because i would just swirl my brush all over to pick up all four colours, for reasons I will later divulge, i appreciate being able to apply these colours individually.

Product:
I don't usually like matte bronzers but on the premise that this was meant to be a good bronzer for the winter i said i would pick it up. This colour, when all four quads are swatched together, is far too dark for my pale skin, i tried it twice and it just looked like mud and was really hard to blend out. I was determined to find a use for it however and I have been using the four different colours for different purposes, the white is a nice highlight under your brow, the pink in the bottom ride hand corner is a nice blush and I use the other two colours for contouring.

Verdict:
As a cool bronzer, well it was an epic fail for me, but using the four colours separately and effectively means i don't feel cheated! Still not a patch on the other e.l.f. bronzers though!

Star Rating:
***

Hope this helps xxx
SHARE:

Essence Eyeshadows

These come in a variety of colours and finishes. I picked up 3 for 2 in Sam McCauley's chemist a while back. I think they are just €1.99 each.

 (L-R: Chill Out, Love that Grey, Disco Diva)

Packaging:
The packaging on these is very similar to the MUA shadows, cheap and cheerful but serves it's purpose. I actually think Essence packaging is very cute anyways for all their products- they're all so girly and colourful and even the font is nice. But that's besides the point. For the price you pay (i got three of these babies for less than €4), you get alot of product so it definitely represents good value for money.

Product:
These eyeshadows really surpassed my expectations which, to be perfectly honest, were a little on the low side, just because i was thinking you can't get really great eyeshadows for such a ridiculously cheap price. Well I was so wrong. These eyeshadows are gorge- smooth, shimmery, pigmented. You get so much shadow in the pot and it's not at all chalky so there is no extreme wastage either. The colours apply easily, they blend easily, they last well, what more do you need in a shadow?

Verdict:
Fab :-)

Star Rating:
*****

Hope this helps xxx
SHARE:

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

NYC Skin Matching Foundation in Fair

I purchased this in Sam McCauleys pharmacy when they were having a 3 for 2 offer on cosmetics. I read lots of good reviews on this and I was eager to try it myself. I purchased this in the shade Fair and it set me back €4.97.


Swatched heavily, blends in better than this!

Packaging:
This comes in a simple plastic tube with all the information displayed on it and a screw top. It's not the sleekest or poshest but for less than a fiver what do you expect. I have no qualms whatsoever with the packaging- i think it does the job perfectly. 

Product:
I like this foundation alot and i do find that it does actually match my skin quite well. I am usually dubious about these skin matching foundations since I got a disastrous No 7 one a few years ago, but i have read many great reviews about these, and to be honest, I have nothing bad to add. I apply this with a blending wedge and it blends really well, i like the consistency of this, it feels a bit thicker than a tinted moisturiser but lighter than a foundation, and coverage is somewhere between the two also. This feels like on the face and does not leave a cakey finish at all and I also find that it takes setting powders etc well. It lasts a long time, it doesn't dry out my skin and doesn't make my skin feel greasy.

Verdict:
Pleasantly impressed with this, I'd recommend it.

Star Rating:
****

Hope this helps xxx
SHARE:

e.l.f. Studio Blushes

These blushes are from the Studio line and come in 9 colours and I have all 9. They retail at $3/£3.50/€4.

What e.l.f. promise:
The soft sheer texture blends into the skin for a silky finish. Designed to be worn alone or layered for more depth. Highlight your complexion with a subtle healthy glow!

(Top Row: Gotta Glow, Peachy Keen, Tickled Pink, Candid Coral.
Bottom Row: Mellow Mauve, Pink Passion, Fuchsia Fusion,  Berry Merry, Blushing Rose)





My first Pink Passion half disappeared
(L-R: Gotta Glow, Peachy Keen, Tickled Pink, Candid Coral, Mellow Mauve, Pink Passion, Fuchsia Fusion,  Berry Merry, Blushing Rose)

Packaging:
The packaging of these is really adorable i think, sleek back little snap top compacts with a window to see the colour and a mirror on the inside of the lid. You get a nice amount of product in each compact also. I like to apply these blushers with the e.l.f. Complexion Brush, or sometimes I might use the e.l.f. Blush Brush, and these work perfectly. 

Product:
I love each and every one of these blushes and I have used them all. Pink Passion is probably my favourite because I have come across no other blush like it, but I love them all, there is not one from this collection that  I don't like. They apply so well and are really pigmented and buildable. Some of them are matte and some have very fine glitter but they all have great lasting power. Gotta Glow is a really gorgeous highlight colour and I love to put this under my brows and on the apples of my cheeks, especially when you have a fake tan because there is a lovely golden hue under a certain light. Peachy Keen/Tickled Pink/Candid Coral are great day time colours and are buildable, and Blushing Rose and Berry Merry are lovely when applied with a light hand. However, the actual formula can be quite powdery and recently, for no apparent reason, half of my favourite Pink Passion blush just crumbled away ever before i hit pan. Luckily for me, I already had a back up!

Verdict:
I love these as much as I love my MAC blushes and I find they work equally as well. These are great value for money and amongst my favourite e.l.f. products.

Star Rating:
*****

Hope this helps xxx
SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig