Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide on eyeliner in bourbon
AngelOnFire 1/21/2010 9:30:00 AM
I got this with the Get Baked palette. I am on the fence with this regarding colour. This is a warm brown leaning slightly into bronze (albeit not metallic) with a generous helping of silver glitter. I usually don't like flat brown liners, they are too boring to me. This is a more interesting alternative with the finely milled glitter, albeit I can't help thinking that this would look tons better with golden glitter since this is a warm colour. The application is smooth, it doesn't drag your eyelids at all. It lasts all day as well, but note that I don't have oily eyelids and eyeshadow doesn't crease on me easily. To sum it up: Good, but no cigar.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Eyepencil in Oil Slick
AngelOnFire 1/21/2010 9:06:00 AM
I got this in the SuperStash. I absolutely adore this liner. It takes a twist on the classic black pencil liner with a generous amount of very finely milled, silver glitter. Not too over the top for day wear (love it on its own), yet eye catching enough for a fun night out. The application is smooth, it doesn't drag your eyelids at all. It lasts all day as well, but note that I don't have oily eyelids and eyeshadow doesn't crease on me easily. I hope they release this as a full size here in the UK as soon as possible!
I got this brush from an Chinese supplier on eBay for a fraction of the price. Unexpectedly, it is in fact authentic (or an incredibly good fake at that), a lovely SA at my local counter confirmed this. Furthermore, I don't see any flaws or faults with it. So I'm more than stoked, as you can imagine. The brush is wonderful. The design is minimalistic and simple. The handle is wooden, I believe, and coated in black colour. The bristles are stiff and only bend ever-so-slightly at the top. Furthermore, they are densely packed and pick up a fair amount of eyeshadow or pot liner. This is a great tool if you want to smudge your eyeliner to get that sultry, smoldering look in a smokey eye. But I prefer using it with dark, pigmented eye shadows along the lash line (upper and lower) to frame them. All in all, it is darn expensive, and if I haven't discovered it by chance for a lower price, I might have waited with the buy. But, if I would lose it and I wouldn't have somebody to source it from cheaply, I would definitely buy it again at full price (£36... yikes).
I'm very surprised that there are so many polarizing opinions of this mascara. And this is partly the reason which coerced my curiousity into rediscovering Hypnose. The last time I used it was around 5 years ago, right when it came out. I used Lancome Extencils first (which I liked and has been discontinued since), but the Hypnose advertising suckered me into trying that. I remember loving it back then and buying it even twice or thrice. But... as times changed, so did my budget, and I was forced to discover the wonders of drugstore brands which I also liked a lot (COTY owned Sporty Miss for £4 comes to mind). Fast forward and my financial situation has improved. So I went out and bought Hypnose today to remind myself what kind of product it is. The fact that it was on sale (30% off) boxed with a sample of black khol liner and bi-facil (which I'm dying to try by the way) nudged me into it, otherwise I wouldn't have splurged on it since there are so many products on my to-try list (the Diorshow variants and Faux Cils comes to mind... as does Eyes to Kill). And here I am, batting lashes that with one coat are wonderfully voluminous, clump-free and long. A second coat makes my lashes even more dramatic, but still, without clumping. The brush extracts a good amount of product, but not too much so that you have to scrape it off for ages (L'Oreal Voluminous, I'm looking at you!). I also love its shape, it covers a fair amount of lashes with one stroke, and makes it easy to separate them too. I have to admit that I didn't curl them (which I don't do anymore thanks to the wonders of Latisse / bimatoprost, they curl up by themselves a little), but from what I remember the formula doesn't hold a curl too well. If you want a curl, try the waterproof version instead. Smudging is not an issue with me, but then, I don't have oily eyelids. The packaging itself is beautifully designed, the only thing I don't like about it is that the black plastic and 'gold plating' will look scruffy after a while being banged around in my purse. I have to thank the MUAers here for both their praise and their bickering about Hypnose, which drove me back into the arms of a product that - whilst not serving everyone well - serves me beautifully. But will I buy it again? Probably not in quite some time (another 5 years? Hehe) since there is sooo much to try out!
Lipstick -GOSH - Velvet Touch Lipstick #134 Darling
AngelOnFire 12/29/2009 10:52:00 AM
When I was researching nude lipsticks that would fare well with my extremely pale complexion, I had two candidates. One was YSL's Rouge Volupte #2 (which I ended up buying and wrote a review about it too) and GOSH's Velvet Touch Lipstick #134, which was nowhere to be found at that time. Well, I went on a drugstore haul before Christmas (great deal at Superdrugs, 3 for 2 across the whole cosmetics range, not only GOSH) and finally found the shade Darling. After some jumping in the air full of joy because I finally found this magical shade that is quite well reviewed, I calmed down and tried it on. The packaging is really nice for such a low-price brand. Matte black, beautifully minimalistic (think Nars or Giorgio Armani). The contents however... The shade is very close to YSL's Rouge Volupte, except that YSL's offering is warmer and peachier on my lips (but only ever so slightly!). I dare say that it is close enough to be in almost-dupe territory. The slight pink / violet tinge covers my pigmented lips in a lovely and cute light pink. But the formula isn't terrific. In fact, the formula is probably one of the most 'meh' I've ever had. It feels 'hard' on my lips. It is greasy, drags on instead of applying smoothly and the fragrance and taste is quite generic (cheapo lipstick and vanilla?). The lasting time isn't brilliant either. You have to reapply from anywhere from half an hour to two hours, although this isn't exactly a deal breaker for since you can always use liner, concealer or primer to make it stay put for a little longer. It goes without saying that your lips have to be perfectly cared for when you apply nude lipstick, or every little imperfection on chapped lips will show up. To sum it up... the shade is nice, I really like it and it looks actually quite good on my PPP skin. The formula is average to say the least... but I believe YSL's Rouge Volupte (which is what, 3+ times as expensive?) has really spoiled me and cranked my expectations up. If you are in the marked for a cheap and cheerful lipstick (and don't live in Canada or the USA where it goes for the same price as a MAC from what I've read), by all means, go for it. I'm giving it 3 lippies but would give it 3.5 if possible.
Palettes -Urban Decay - Get Baked Palette [DISCONTINUED]
AngelOnFire 12/29/2009 9:56:00 AM
So here I am, suckered into buying this palette from the glowing reviews it received here on MUA and other sites. I bought this off eBay since I couldn't find it anywhere, and it looks as though it has been discontinued. This is the first product by Urban Decay I bought and I am shocked by how incredible it is! The four shades - Half-Baked, Baked, Twice Baked and Flipside - complement themselves perfectly, and even the odd-one out (Flipside) plays beautifully with its warm-hued brothers. The 24/7 liner in Bourbon goes perfectly with the rest, and the mini UDPP in Sin is a nice sample to try the famous primer for a first time. I use the palette at least a couple of times a week. Half-Baked is my favourite. It is a subtle, shimmery gold that is not too over the top and suitable for day wear. Baked is like Half-Baked on steroids: a bold golden colour that I use sparingly to give my look a little more 'oomph', it looks beautiful if applied along the lower lash line or on the inner or outer third of the upper lid. Twice Baked is another staple of this palette. I use the dark brown with tiny sparkles as a crease colour or on top of bourbon. It looks stunning when it is slightly smudged with a smudge brush. Flipside is used the least by me, but it is great for a pop of colour, say, along the lower lash line or the inner third of your eyelid and tear-duct. I have to try it in the crease sometime too. The packaging is well done. It's youth- and colourful and shuts tight. Even though the palette is pretty new and almost untouched, I'll definitely buy the full-sized eye shadows once I run out of a shade. I can't recommend this palette strongly enough for both day- and nighttime wear, both colourful summer and muted winter. A future classic!
My dear Mother bought this mascara for herself, and I thought I'd give it a shot myself. I love to try drugstore brands, since they can be surprisingly good sometimes. I myself love L'Oreals Glam Shine lipglosses. So lets have a look at this, shall we? The packaging gets the thumbs down from me. The tube is very disappointing, and it's definitely not a product that I would be proud of carrying in my purse. L'Oreal can certainly do better than this, since their other products are usually nicely packaged. Once I got over the initial, visual disappointment, I opened it to reveal a moderatly sized brush with heaps of thick formula on it. Naturally, I swiped some of it away in order not to get into a sticky situation. Nevertheless, this product lives up to its name - Voluminous - albeit it sticks my lashes together big-time, instead of coating every single lash individually. Besides that, it gets quite lumpy, with some lumps sticking at the end of my lashes. It also doesn't lengthen much, but then again, I'm very used to fibrous mascaras, so my expectations might be too high. After some vigorous work removing the clumps and applying a second coat (and, again, removing more clumps), the end result is nice. It's a great product for those who like a dramatic look, or even 'spider-leg' lashes, but it's too much work for those who prefer a clean, separated look. I definitely stick to my Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Treatment mascara for my everyday look, thanks.
Lipstick -Yves Saint Laurent - Rouge Volupte #2 Sensual Silk / Blond Sensuel
AngelOnFire 11/11/2009 6:22:00 AM
I was and still am torn about this product. One one hand, £20 is no small change for a lipstick. But on the other... this is gorgeous! I am extremely fair (Armani Face Fabric #8) and it is EXTREMELY difficult to find a nude lipstick that suits me. In fact, this is my first. I've tried a couple... anything with a hint of peach, yellow or brown looks simply wrong on me. I either looks sickly (especially with beige) or like a clown (peach, anyone?). Rouge Volupte in #2 Sensual Silk is nude, with a slight pinkish tone to it that seems to be pretty neutral. When I was about to buy the YSL Rouge Volupte, I asked the rather inept sales person / 'makeup artist' to apply it onto my lips. After all, I'm not buying something that expensive without getting a 'test drive' first. After she did, I was shocked. Not only slathered she it on like there was no tomorrow (which caused slight concealer-lip syndrome), she also didn't contour my quite highly pigmented lips very well, so they were nude but the outline was reddish / pink. It looked very ugly. After my initial shock and some hyperventilation (just kidding), I smudged and blended the product and blotted the excess off. The result was very pleasing, but somehow disconcerting, since my natural lips which are highly pigmented were now muted. Furthermore, I'm rather used to glosses and balms that enhance the pigmentation of my lips, contrary to toning it down. Against common sense, and despite still not feeling right about the lippie, I took it home. I removed the outer packaging and stared at quite possibly the most luxurious looking lipstick package design known to (wo)man. It is golden, it is heavy, the sculpted logo with the colour swatch looks awesome, and it even has a tiny mirror ideal for touch-ups. Furthermore, the scent of the lipstick is also pleasant. Fruity (melon?), yet subtle. Long story short. I finally got used to my nude lips. I use this lippie almost every day now, even when I'm at home just to make me feel better (which I don't usually do, lol). As for staying power... The formula is very creamy, yet lightweight. Paradoxically, it is also opaque. One swipe is all you need. As long as I don't munch on anything or lick my lips, it stays put for a few hours... but by no means does it last a long time. Yet reapplying it is such a joy! Is it worth £20? I don't know, but given my current (rather good) financial situation, I'll probably repurchase.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Strawberry Body Butter
AngelOnFire 11/11/2009 5:50:00 AM
At first when I tried this in the store, it was love at first whiff. My boyfriend - who loves the scent of strawberries - also encouraged me to buy it, so I did. The body butter goes on like a dream, smooth and even, and moisturizes throughout the day. But... and here comes the deal breaker for me... the scent is too penetrating in the long run. It doesn't smell 100% natural, either. Forget fresh strawberries, forget strawberry jam... this is a synthetic smell. I still use it occasionally and sparsely, but I'd never buy it in the first place knowing that the scent would get on my nerves this much. Kudos for the moisturizing properties, though.
Initially, I didn't think I would like this scent at all. At first, it seems too bright and loud... It is very aquatic and full of citrus in the beginning, but it dies down into a wonderful, slightly woody and musky fragrance with the slightest hint of fruit and florals. The most outstanding notes seem to be grapefruit and mandarin. I like the packaging. The design reflects the scent itself very well: clean, modern, aquatic. I myself am awful at classifying and identifying smells, so don't expect any deeper description. The only thing I can tell you is what I like, and what I don't. And THIS, I love :-) It is a sort of signature scent of my boyfriend... This agrees very much with his skin and smells amazing on him. Take it from me, don't judge this beautiful scent by trying it on a piece of cardboard... You might not like it and you might miss out on it, just like I almost did.
I bought this brush for one and only purpose, and that is peel application. For those that don't know, acid peel treatments (glycolic, lactic just to name two) can be applied in a number of ways. First, you can use your fingers, if you don't mind having dry, flaky skin on your fingertips afterward. Second, you can use cotton wool. Cotton buds / q-tips, cotton wool balls or pads are alright if you don't mind wasting product that gets soaked up in the process. Or you can use a brush, which has none of the negative sideffects mentioned above. Well, and what can I say... The Gosh Fan Brush is perfect for that. I don't remember how much I paid for it (£6? £8?), but it is certainly worth the price. It doesn't look too shabby either. A black plastic handle is adorned by the dual-toned crown. It isn't made from any fancy natural hair, it uses nylon, which makes it perfect for that purpose because it doesn't soak up too much product... But neither does it hold to little. It isn't too large, either, so you can get around your nostrils and your lips with no trouble. So for that purpose alone, this is probably the best product you can buy. I haven't used it as a brush per se, so I can't comment to well on that. But my intuition tells me that a natural brush would be better suited to pick up any pigmented powder than this synthetic one.
Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - TCA Peel
AngelOnFire 10/9/2009 4:04:00 PM
I've had this product for a few weeks now, but haven't had the courage to try it. I've been using the 55% Lactic Acid peels from MUAC for about six weeks now, but I'm not exactly head over heels about the results, or better the lack thereof. Yes, it evened my complexion out a little, but I really expected more. Annoyed with that, I decided to try the 12.5% TCA peel. I proceeded as described in my review of the lactic acid. I cleansed my face using soap and Clean & Clear Cooling Toner. I used a pipette to transfer 1ml of product into a glass and used my trusty Gosh fan brush to apply the acid to my face. No latex gloves, no vaseline for protection... Just a carefull application in order not to get the TCA peel on to sensitive areas of my skin. At first, I was surprised. The burning sensation is different from lactic and glycolic peels. To me it felt less painfull and somehow cooler and, paradoxically, stronger. The sensation scared me at first, but I decided to go ahead nonetheless. Frosting started in as little as 90 seconds, at first there were white patches on my chin and nose, later a white cast appeared on my cheeks, but not on my forehead, despite beginning my application there. I was also surprised at how unirritated my skin was. Yes, there was a white cast from all the frosting, but it wasn't reddish, angry or hurting at all! Even though this type of peel is supposedly harsher than both glycolic and lactic acid peels, my skin didn't agree with this statement. Even after I neutralised the peel with soda bicarbonite, my skin looked exactly as before, except for the white spots here and there. At the first day, nothing happened. My skin got a little more dried-out looking i some areas, but there was no peeling. On the second day, skin started to come off where the most frosting was, on the nose and chin. On the third day, the skin in these areas came of in sheets. On the fourth and fifth day my whole face started to peel in small segments. The only thing I used to combat the flakies was some good ol' jojoba oil, which I applied onto my skin and massaged in circular motions. I was done with peeling on the sixth day. The results? Obviously it's no miracle cure, but I can already see the difference on some smaller scars. My skin is still a little fresh and temporarily darker in some areas, but this is going to fade. I'm optimistic that this will yield results quicklier than lactic and glycolic acid peels, but I won't bump the strength up with the TCA peel anytime soon. Despite it not being as harsh on my skin as the aforementioned, other peels, this is very potent stuff that I very much respected from the first time I felt that specific burning sensation and saw frost in a very quick time. Overall, I'm very happy with the TCA peel and am glad that there wasn't any downtime, irritated skin or pain. I will update this accordingly once I see more results from this.
So, after reading several reviews on MUA, I decided to give this baby a try. I ordered this from an eBay seller in Taiwan. From what I can tell, the item is genuine, comparing it to several pictures of it on the web. For about £10, it wasn't a bad deal. The folks in Japan surely love their packaging. The most difficult thing about the Kate Mascara Base was to remove it from it's box! But after a lot of pulling and snipping, I removed the wand, which looks elegant and classy. The design is very beautiful, but given that the wand is square and not round, it doesn't lie in your hand too well. Now to the product itself... The base is EXTREMELY fibrous. I've never seen a larger amount of fibers in any mascara before. You have to remove them from the brush carefully or all of it ends up on your lashes and leaves a clumpy mess. The main reason I bought this was because I'm tired of waterproof mascaras, which, whilst being difficult to remove, are the only ones that hold a curl for the whole day. I was shedding eyelashes after Kiss Me Heroine Volume & Curl big time. Even though the mascara is flawless, the removal puts too much stress on my lashes and makes them fall out. So, does the Kate Mascara Base hold a curl? Check! Does it hold it the whole day? Check! Is it easy to remove? ...Well, almost. It is easier to remove than most waterproof mascaras, but it isn't a walk in the park, either. There is some vigorous rubbing with soap or makeup remover involved if you want to get it all off. Does it lengthen my lashes? Like crazy. If you want ridiculous lengths, I suggest pairing it up with Kanebo's 38*C Silk Performance (Separating & Lengthening). My lashes touch my eyebrows with ease after curling them and using these products. But, as far as I can see, the Kate Mascara Base doesn't volumize at all. But that's what the mascara afterward should be for, anyway. Now, some people here are commenting on how this base dries, and one or two posters mentioned that it leaves a white cast even after applying mascara. The Kate Mascara Base dries clearly on me, with only the fibers attached on the tips of your lashes remaining white. Whilst it is tricky to paint some of the more curiously positioned fibers black (or whatever other colour you use) with mascara afterward, they should not leave a cast when done properly! Overall, it is a very good product. I never used any mascara bases before, so I can't really compare how they fare. The only gripe I have with this is that it isn't very easy to remove and that the application can be fussy and tricky. Other than that, thumbs up.
Despite looking plain boring in the pan, Launey is a definite staple. The light, shimmery, peachy colour is great for a natural look: As a base for other eye shadows (Flicker, Salsa and Pigalle come to mind) or as a wash on its own if you want a bare look. When used wet, it becomes much more opaque but still keeps its inherent qualities. It evens out the skin tone on my eyelids and makes them look brighter, 'my own but better'. It glides onto my eyelids perfectly. The soft texture is ultra-blendable, and doesn't crease on me. A definite keeper!
I got this for free when I bought a near-mint 8 pan compact about a year ago. I just recently rediscovered Lame and let me tell you this: It's stunning! The eyeshadow is a slightly beige, golden colour with the slightest olive hue to it to take the warmth down a notch. The consistency is soft and blendable, but as all Stila eye shadows, it doesn't crease on me. I don't have too many eye shadows that work well with this one, but surprisingly, it works well with the similarly-toned Viola. Other than that, I like to use it as a wash just as I use Kitten sometimes. It's a wonderful product that whilst looking boring in the pan, really lights up my eyes. Definitely worth the price!