I've used Schwarzkopf Live hair dyes for years; mainly I stick to the XXL Live range as the purple shades are my favourite, but I've also used the Live Luminance and Live Salon Style ranges. I sometimes try another brand when I fancy something 'sensible', but I always return to Schwarzkopf Live as I find them to be the most reliable for good results - the colour swathes on the boxes are the most reliable out of popular DIY har dye brands, such as Schwarskopf, L'Oreal, Garnier and Clarol. In my ongoing hair colour journey only XXL Live Real Red has disappointed me, as though the colour turned out like the box's model, it faded very quickly. Yes, I know that red dyes are the fastest to fade, but Real Red still fades quicker then is usual for red; within a week my hair had dulled to a murky copper tone. The Live Luminance [Ultra Violet] shade I tried was underwhelming; not bad, but not great either - more pink/red, then violet. "Meh" results aside, I have had much more hits then misses with Live; XXL Live's Max Blonde, Red Passion, Mystic Violet, Hypnotic Red, Glam Rock Black, Cyber Purple and Live Salon Style in Dark Violet are the shades I have fond memories off. They're all permanent shades, that haven't damaged my hair and all have left my hair shiny. The non-red shades all have minimal fade, in fact I often don't even need to bother with a colour protecting shampoo or conditioner, as the colour fade is so unnoticeable! There is not much else to say; Schwarzkopf dyes are affordable when they're full priced, and there are often BOGOF or other money saving offers on them in Boots, Superdrug or Asda.
On first application the fragrance is sugary sweet thanks to the berries. I can't detect any bergamot, so I find the first five to ten minutes of MUSIC BOX to be far too sweet and cloying. A touch of the fruit carries down into the heart, so there always remains a sweet undertone to everything. I'm not overjoyed by the floral notes; they are clean and airy, but they never seem to develop fully. In fact the only floral note I can place with any certainty is the watery rose, which gets lost in the jumble fairly quickly. As other reviewers have noted, the clean and airy floral mix is reminiscent of laundry detergent. The base is the biggest letdown for me; Coty/Kylie have flogged whole musk/sandalwood/amber base to death and beyond. Can we have something a little bit different please? Everyone repeat after me; as this is a Kylie/Coty collaboration it's no surprise that the staying power is poor, even for a mass market release. After only two or three hours, I struggle to get more then a brief whiff of sandalwood. Official scent notes: strawberry, raspberry, bergamot, rose, freesia and orange blossom, sandalwood, amber and white musk. I used to love Kylie, so I make a point of sampling every single Kylie perfume [sometimes even blind buying online]. Unfortunately I've been disappointed every time and MUSIC BOX is sadly no different. It's not awful, but it is obviously cheap and boring. I'm actually surprised that Coty are still releasing Kylie Minogue branded perfumes to be honest; most stores only stock the latest releases by her. And that is only for a few months, then they are reduced to clear and vanish. They really need to step up their game, if they want the line to survive.
Candles -Unlisted Brand - For Every Body - Spiced Pumpkin
MalibuMands 9/10/2012 9:40:00 AM
For Every Body's SPICED PUMPKIN candle is scented like, umm, pumpkin and sweet spices. The pumpkin is creamy, whilst the cinnamon and nutmeg is mixed with brown sugar and powdered vanilla. This is my favorite room warmer for autumn as I adore the smell of pumpkins - it's such a shame that pumpkin fragrances aren't common in the UK :( The main selling point for the brand is that the entirety of the candle wax is perfumed, so the fragrance lasts as long as the candle does [and they seem to last forever - I'd guess at around 90 hours]. The fragrance throws well and I can catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit too. The other huge plus with this brand is the price. In-store at TK Maxx I pay £5.99 for a 15oz jar, which is so cheap, compared to other brands. My favourite candle brand is Yankee Candle, but For Every Body does offer better value for money. In the UK you can buy the jar ones in TK Maxx [homeware section, not with the tin candles in the beauty section]. Amazon UK also stocks a selection of them. The official website is www.foreverybody.com.
FOR EVERY BODY candles are a resent discovery for me, but as we come to autumn/fall my obsession with scented candles is rearing its head again. In the UK you can buy the jar ones in TK Maxx [homeware section, not with the tin candles in the beauty section]. Amazon UK also stocks a selection of them. The main selling point is that the entirety of the candle wax is perfumed, so the fragrance lasts as long as the candle does [and they seem to last forever - I'd guess at around 90 hours]. The fragrance throws well and I can catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit too. The other huge plus with this brand is the price. In-store at TK Maxx I pay £5.99 for a 15oz jar, which is so cheap, compared to other brands. My favourite candle brand is Yankee Candle, but FOR EVERY BODY offers better value for money.
ROUSE is a bright baby pink, if that makes sense; it is icy pale, but has a bit of warmth to it. A single coat gives a more natural polished look to my lips, however layering it gives a milkier look that is great for pairing with strong eyes. The formula is classed as a sheer finish, but has excellent pigmentation, so the colour payoff is fantastic. Illamasqua is becoming my favourite brand for lip-glosses as the wear outlasts the likes of MAC and NARS, but the gloss never feels sticky.
In the bottle the formula looks medium purple with gold glitter, but itís on your nails in that youíll get the full effect. Once applied the duochrome finish of the polish morphs between a deep redish pink and purple, whilst the glitter shimmers with purple, pink and red - depending on how the light hits the polish. The overall effect of the polish reminds me of my old bottle of Clarins #230. I'm not saying that Color Club ULTERIOR MOTIVE is a dupe or anything like that, just that I find the pink/purple duochrome formula and the shades of the microglitter a bit reminiscent. The formula is fast drying and the glitter particles are very fine, so the formula is smooth to apply Ėno bumps, glitter clumps or streaks. Using my usual base and top coats [China Glaze is my usual brand] this polish will last me between two and three days with only minimal tip wear; but Iím tough on my nails (self powered wheelchair user), so it will probably last longer on other people.
TOTAL MYSTERY is a stunning royal blue shade with blue and purple micro glitter. The shade is similar to another one of my favourite blue polish shades; Avon's Splendid Blue, except the micro glitters in the two polishes are different shades. TOTAL MYSTERY is part of Color Club's Alter Ego: Keep It Undercover collection. The formula is smooth to apply and is quick to dry. As the colour is bottle-true after two coats and the formula dries quickly (within three minutes). Using my usual [China Glaze] base and top coats this polish will last me around 2/3 days with only minimal wear; but Iím tough on my nails (self powered wheelchair user), so it will probably last longer on other people.
I'm a purple polish junkie so most of my stash is purple, yet ALIAS is still unique. It's a deep purple duochrome shade [it has flashes of green and burnished gold in various light] and flecks of gold micro-glitter that looks so pretty when they catch the light. The shade becomes fully opaque with two coats. I've drooled over pictures of Hard Candy's Beetle shade and, as Hard Candy hasn't been sold in the UK for quite a few years now, have been watching Ebay in vain. But, based on pictures and YouTube footage, I'd say that ALIAS is more or less the same shade. ALIAS is smooth to apply, leaving no bubbles or streaks despite the shimmer, and I was impressed with the drying time; Five minutes after application it was touch dry and after ten minutes I was rummaging through drawers, there were no chips or smudges. I hadn't applied a top coat at that point. Using my usual [China Glaze] base and top coats this polish will last me around 2/3 days with only minimal wear; but Iím tough on my nails (self powered wheelchair user), so it will probably last longer on other people.
Yankee Candles autumn/fall limited edition fragrance Witches Brew is the perfect fragrance for Halloween; the fragrance conjures up the image of a freshly dug grave, with the perfume from nearby funeral wreaths and smoke from bonfires lingering in the air. The fragrance is best described as smelling like damp soil, with a undertone that has a kind of organic spicy/sweetness to it. The spicy tang reminds me of cloves, or aniseed. I can't pinpoint the sweeter notes, but overall the results smell vaguely like cola to me. These above notes combine to create a darker incense note, with the smokiness of burnt wood underneath everything else.
Hair Color -L'Oreal - Recital Preference in Paris 4.01
MalibuMands 8/19/2012 4:12:00 PM
I used another Recital Preference shade [Havana] on my hair a few moths ago and found that the resulting shade was nothing like the model's on the box and when it came time to touch up the roots, the colour was very uneven. However I did like the Recital Preference formula, so I picked a darker shade, took a deep breath and redyed my hair... Success! This shade does seem to be almost black at first, but slightly lightens to almost exactly the same dark, cool brown shade as that on the box's model after a week or so. From there on out, any colour fade is minimal, I can go over two months between top ups, as the formula is so fade resistant. And my roots [ash blonde/brown] dye the same shade as the rest of my hair. L'Oreal - you have redeemed yourselves. I started to go grey in my teens and this has perfectly blended them away, which is a first; I've found that dyes typically colour the grey hairs slightly lighter. Overall; I'm very impressed with the new formula.
DOT has surprised me with its lightness. I was expecting something heavier and sweeter, having read the fragrance notes before hand. I'm not saying that it isn't sweet - I just find the sweetness fresh and zesty, rather then cloying and obviously artificial. DOT's top and heart is a mild mix of fruit, honeysuckle and watery orange blossom. I canít separate the exact berry notes used, maybe currants and raspberry? I'm also not familiar with pitaya, but I'm guessing that it the source or the mango-like accord in the fragrance. There is also something vaguely citrussy in DOT, that stops the sweeter fruits and florals from becoming too overbearing. I adore the soft base to DOT. The woodsy notes and soft musks are so clean and airy, whilst the slight hint of coconut gives everything a comforting creaminess. Official scent notes: Red berries, pitaya fruit [dragon fruit], honeysuckle, jasmine, orange blossom, coconut water, vanilla, driftwood and sensual musk. Overall the light, airy scent is perfect for the warmer weather, although it's something that I'd probably wear all year round. Dot is very wearable and can be worn to work, casual wear/weekends and crowded parties, but it's not unique enough to make me feel glamorous on special occasions. DOT is a lovely fragrance, thatís only let down by the "meh" staying power. I wouldn't mind the price if the fragrance lasted longer on me and that's the only reason I'm still using testers and sample vials, instead of buying my own bottle. Maybe I'll eventually cave and buy a bottle, but for now I'll look for something similar, with a better sillage.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - True Reflection by Kim Kardashian
MalibuMands 7/27/2012 5:14:00 AM
The plum is the strongest fruit note on me and it lingers throughout the entire 'life' of the perfume. There is soft vanilla present through all of the fragrance too, with adds a creamy sweetness and warmth to the mix. The patchouli is quick to develop and prevents everything from becoming too sweet. The floral notes used for TRUE REFLECTION are disappointingly underdeveloped. Aside from coca and added vanilla aka 'chocolate orchard', none of them are strong enough to stand out from the plum, patchouli and the already existing vanilla. There is no strong indication between the top, heart, and the base, thanks to the constant trickle of plum, patchouli and vanilla. The woods and musk are mingled closely together with everything else, so the perfume seems a bit too one dimensional. Key Scent notes; Bergamot, plum, peach, gardenia, chocolate orchid, lotus flower, textured woods, patchouli and skin musk. Overall; I think TRUE REFLECTION is 'nice' and a huge step up from her other fragrance releases. It is pleasant and easy to wear, but it isn't very exciting or original, so whilst it's far from bad I won't be buying it. The four hour average staying power isn't anything to get excited about, in fact, based on her previous releases, it is pretty bad.
Lipstick -Collection 2000 - Lasting Colour Lipstick in Mango Tango
MalibuMands 7/22/2012 6:49:00 AM
I'm trying to work my way out of my 'neutral rulez' makeup rut, so have slowly been introducing bright colours into my makeup bag, in the forms of blush and lipstick, to break up my safe-but-boring routine. MANGO TANGO is a tangerine shade, which has a twist of red in it. Keeping with my MAC comparisons, I'd say that the shade is along the same line as Morange, with a touch of Vegas Volt thrown in. The finish to the lipstick is creamy and easy to distribute evenly - I find it similar to MAC Amplified finishes. The formula hasn't had a drying effect on my lips. The lasting power is average for a lipstick; four to five hours, depending on food or drink. No less and no worse then other brands. I've had no problems with the packaging - it is secure and doesn't look 'cheap'. The only downside I've found for MANGO TANGO is the lack of sunshine to wear this summery shade. But I am going to Florida in November, so I will get to wear it eventually... So yeah, it is something that will be sat in your makeup bage, without getting much wear. The Collection 2000 Lasting Finish lipsticks come in 11 shades and I'm so impressed with the quality of the two I own [see my Pink Shock review], that I will be getting more in the future. The look and feel of MAC, for only £2.99.
Lipstick -Collection 2000 - Lasting Colour Lipstick in Pink Shock
MalibuMands 7/21/2012 4:20:00 AM
Collection 2000's PINK SHOCK is a creamy shade of hot pink - and by hot pink I mean fluorescent. I think that this shade is very similar to MAC's much sought after LE shade Candy Yum Yum. The finish to the lipstick is creamy and easy to distribute evenly - I find it similar to MAC Amplified finishes. The formula hasn't had a drying effect on my lips. The lasting power is average for a lipstick; no less and no worse then other brands. I've had no problems with the packaging - it is secure and doesn't look 'cheap'. The look and feel of MAC, for only £3.99 xx
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - W7 - Harder & Tougher nail treatment
MalibuMands 7/8/2012 5:05:00 PM
As a [somewhat] reformed nail biter, who still relapses in times of depression, I need help to grow and maintain my nails. They can become so brittle and weak, theyíd snap as soon as I manage to grow them to a neat and paint-able length. OPI's Nail Envy can always be counted on when I need help, but it is a pricey product in the UK. When I was browsing Amazon I saw W7's [Warpaint Cosmetics] HARDER & TOUGHER nail treatment for £2.99, and knowing that W7 makes good Benefit blush dupes I decided to give it a go and see if their winning dupes extend beyond blush... Like Nail Envy, HARDER & TOUGHER coats nails with a clear protective barrier, which both protects and nourishes the nail. Once you've grown your nails, you donít throw this into a drawer and forget about it; this is lovely to use as a base coat, and I've found it to prevent any staining after I used dark polish. HARDER & TOUGHER also makes a great topcoat. The formula doesn't affect the colour of my polish and adds a nice gleam to my nails. I've removed a star as Nail Envy does give me faster results and is more chip resistant, but HARDER & TOUGHER is still something that I'll happily re-buy in the not-too-distant future.