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 can’t 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, that’s 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, they’d 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 don’t 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.
Fragrances -Elizabeth Arden - Taylor Swift Wonderstruck
MalibuMands 7/6/2012 6:26:00 AM
All berries smell similar when used in perfumes, but WONDERSTRUCK has slightly more distinctive notes of raspberry and blackberry. After the berries the peach is the next strongest fruit - which surprised me as it's meant to be a base note, yet it develops soon after being applied to skin. The soft vanilla is present through all of the fragrance, with adds a creamy sweetness and warmth to the mix. WONDERSTUCK is meant to contain thirteen different floral notes, but - aside from a breeze of freesia - none of them are strong enough to stand out from the fruits and vanilla. This is definitely a fruity perfume. There is no strong indication between the heart notes and the base, thanks to the constant trickle of raspberry, peach and vanilla. The sandalwood and musk are mingled closely together so it is a warm and creamy mix - nice, but it is a blend that is used in many fragrances today. Scent notes: Raspberry, dewberry, green tea, freesia, apple blossom, vanilla, honeysuckle, white hibiscus, amber, musk and sandalwood. Although I think WONDERSTRUCK is 'nice', very wearable and wears quite well, I won't be replacing my bottle. As whilst it is pleasant to wear, it's nothing new and it doesn't excite me. Lots of people compare this to Britney Spears Fantasy [another EA release], but I don't get the comparison at all. I'd say this is more along the lines of a Harajuku Lovers release; Music.
Palettes -Sanrio/Hello Kitty - Shimmering Powder & Eyeshadow palette
MalibuMands 7/5/2012 7:07:00 AM
Some people may not like the lack of colour options in this cute Hello Kitty, two-tier compact, but I'd rather have fewer colours which I'll use, over a dozen shades or so, which I'd never touch. For me the star product is in the top tier; the powder highlighter. It is lightly golden, so acts as a gentle bronzer on my pale skin. I've uploaded the above picture and as you can see it amazingly effective and looks like liquid on my skin. I use the highlighter all the time and it lasts all day - even in summer. I've never experienced any fallout with this product. The bottom tier contains four eye shadows in black shimmer, silver/gray, champagne (worn in the above pic), and a bronzy gold. The silky powder glides onto skin and blends effortlessly. Again; it lasts all day and I've never experienced any fallout. The only shade I don't use much as a shadow is the black; I apply it as a liner, using a damp brush instead.
I'm surprised by how much I like this, I was expecting something overly sweet, but DELICIOUS CHOCOLAT is the perfect balance between feminine and masculine, so doesn't lean in any direction too much. The chocolate note is prominent, but it is rich and clearly dark, so it isn't milky and sweet. The juicy, softer plum and peach notes blend closely with the lemon notes, again minimizing the sweetness of the notes down. If I have any complaint, it is how the heart and base of the fragrance in fairly linear; the florals aren't strong enough to stand out. Once the woodsy notes develop and mix with fruits and chocolate, the resulting effect is quite spicy. I think that there is patchouli here, to give the blend a rich, earthy tone and perhaps saffron too. Official scent notes: Ozone notes, citruses, bergamot, lemongrass, plum, peach, jasmine, rose, dark chocolate, vanilla, amber, precious woods and musk. Chocolovers is one of my favorite fragrances, but DELICIOUS CHOCOLAT doesn't remind me of it, no matter how much I want it to. I see the resemblance between the notes, but the overall result is different. I nominate Kate Walsh Boyfriend as the closest cousin to this.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Ujene Switzerland Puriste Collagen Day Cream
MalibuMands 6/29/2012 4:20:00 PM
I've only been using Puriste Collagen day cream twice a day (first thing in the morning and before bed) for a few weeks, but my skin already feels and looks firmer, is noticeably more radiant and the expression lines on my forehead already seem fainter. Buzz words and fancy lists of ingredients mean nothing to me, but I must admit that using this cream has surprised me by delivering great results. The biggest surprise has been the firming of my skin; it really works and even my cheekbones are more visible! If that doesn't impress you, then I'm not sure what would. The only thing I felt disappointed by is the fact that this doesn't always moisturize my (very) dry skin enough when worn alone, so wearing moisturising serum under this is a must for me. That's not to say that it doesn't moisturize skin; it does and some days I don't notice any flakes and will have that fresh, dewy glow. But yeah, my skin does usually need a little bit more help in that area. Based on my results, I would say that if you have oilier skin you won't need a night cream and this would preform well in that regard. But I've used many treatment creams over the years and none have yielded such positive results as close to this (and worked so quickly!) that using another moisturizing product with this doesn't seem such a big deal...
Treatments (Eye) -Unlisted Brand - Ujene Switzerland Puriste Collagen Eye Gel
MalibuMands 6/29/2012 4:12:00 PM
I've been applying the gel twice a day - morning and evening - for a few weeks now and the results are already visible. The gel formula feels so nice and cooling on application, so I instantly feel more awake and the coolness tones down any puffiness in an instant. After five or six days I began to see a reduction in the dark circles under my eyes. They haven’t totally disappeared, but I rarely bother with concealer under my eyes; the circles have been reduced so much. Now for the big one: after only a week or so the reduction in my under and outer corner eye lines. After a month they've been greatly reduced. I won't lie and say they've vanished, BUT I do have to hold a mirror right up to my head to see any lines. I am very pleased with the results, so feel that I can't complain about the price in comparison to these noticeable results. But I'll have to be strict and remove a lippie for the price.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Ujene Switzerland Puriste Collagen Serum
MalibuMands 6/29/2012 4:04:00 PM
I'm really excited about Puriste Collagen serum, as I started to see visible results after just one week; that's all the time it took for me to begin to see a visible reduction in the lines on my forehead and the beginning of laughter lines. Truth be told, from the very first application, my skin looked brighter. The serum also helps to moisturize my skin; I've used it alone a few times and it smoothed away my patches of dry skin and left a slight dewy sheen to my skin. I do have severely dry skin though, so I do prefer to use the serum under moisturizer. Based on my results; I would say that if you have oilier skin, then you could probably skip moisturizer. In addition to the moisturizing properties; after just a few weeks of using the serum twice a day [under Ujene's moisturizer] my skin has become noticeably more radiant and the expression lines on my forehead and my laugh lines have been reduced - I have to hold a mirror right up to my head to see any lines, as they've become so fine. I've not suffered from any breakouts, itches or rashes on my dry and sensitive skin; something which 90% of creams, serums and other skin treatments I've tried do, so I'll be sure to re-buy (I've tried many different brands from all price ranges).
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Coleen X EDT by Coleen Rooney
MalibuMands 6/18/2012 9:03:00 AM
Coleen X is like Jennifer Aniston's debut fragrance, in that it is kinda hard for me to describe as, in all honesty, this doesn't really smell of anything. On me there are no citrus fruits, no florals and no woods. There is just a sour, chemical scent. I'm only guessing when I suggest that this is meant to be the marine accords, because the scent, to me, is similar to the ink found in a permanent marker. Fortunately, for me anyway, the staying power is bad; Coleen X burns down with one hour, so we don't have to suffer for too long. No, I'm not exaggerating - it really does wear like a cheap body spray. Scent notes: citrus, orange, rose, lily of the valley, marine accord, patchouli, amber, musk and cedar.
TRUTH OR DARE is another one dimensional white floral blend of gardenia and tuberose. These two scent notes are so strong that, apart from a whisper of neroli, nothing else is distinguishable from the jumble the perfume quickly becomes. White florals aren't my thing, but at first I did appreciate the blend... until the jumble of scent notes develops fully on my skin - then TRUTH OR DARE becomes a real no-no. There is something in the jumble that smells overly synthetic and sickly - the vanilla and musk combining with everything maybe? I can't describe this synthetic note in any detail, but it's horribly heavy on me. I retested TRUTH OR DARE again today when I saw a tester in a store, and my Mum took one sniff of my wrist and she honestly backed away from me, saying the fragrance was too heavy and would give her a migraine if she came too close to me. Scent notes: gardenia, creamy tuberose, neroli, jasmine, benzoin, white lily, vanilla, caramelized amber and sensual musk. I wouldn't recommend TRUTH OR DARE and wouldn't know when to wear it; it is too strong for casual or work wear and it smells like many, many other white floral blends, so I don't think that it is unique enough for evening wear or or any other special occasions. The fragrance does not suit it's edgy name and bottle design, as it is so generic. TRUTH OR DARE does NOT remind me of Fracas [the only white floral that I like], but instead Kim Kardashian's debut fragrance.
BELLA BAMBA is a bright pink shade of blusher, with a golden, gleaming undertone, ala NARS Orgasm. The Benefit website calls the shade watermelon pink, which I think is accurate. I'm impressed with the pigmentation; a little goes a long way. You don't get a lot of product, but it'll still last a while since you just need a light dusting of powder. BELLA BAMBA lasts all day on me, with no touch-ups, and the powder doesn't enhance my dry skin. As it a bright shade with great pigmentation, I do need to be careful with application as I have porcelain skin, so it is easy to look overdone. But that is the only downside that I can think of. Overall this is another winning blush from Benefit.
BACKSTAGE BAMBI is a matt, hot pink - and by hot pink I mean fluorescent. I think that this shade is quite similar to MAC's much sought after LE shade Candy Yum Yum. I love that the matt lipsticks by Kat Von D all seem to have a long-lasting finish that dries like a stain. I put in on in the mornings, eat and drink, but colour is still on my lips up to six hours later - there is no feathering, no transfer on cups, and the colour still looks even. My lips are dry, but the formula doesn't flake.