I was looking for a new primer after my Urban Decay pore perfecting one ran out. and since I knew Illamasqua is a great brand with great products, I decided to give this a try. I chose the matte primer because I want my primer to make my makeup last longer, rather than look luminous (plus I have slightly oily skin). this feels quite light and runny when you apply it, but if you put too much on it can feel heavy. it also doesn't spread too great either so you have to be careful and try to make it spread as far as you can with as little product as you can get away with. this primer makes my foundation (Illamasqua skin base) last the whole day when teamed with Illamasqua's matte loose powder. it also makes makeup go on smoother. it doesn't give you an absolute no shine matte finish, which I love, you still have your natural glow, even with matte powder on top. but then again, skin base has a semi-matte finish so that might be why. but if you wear this on its own, it will give you a no shine matte finish. it also has a nice vanilla scent, like all Illamasqua products. though the scent in the primer is stronger than other products, but I don't mind because I like the smell :)
I previously used the Clinique brush cleanser and bought the MAC one because it is cheaper and there is more in the bottle. I took out the Clinique pump spray and used it in the MAC one. but had to cut it down a bit as the Clinique bottle is taller. like many reviews mention on here, the MAC cleanser is more for quick and frequent cleaning as opposed to a more deep and less frequent clean, which is my downside. because I clean my brushes every week or every other week. so quite a lot of product builds up. I need less of the MAC cleanser than the Clinique to remove more product from brushes. but still the MAC cleanser doesn't get the brushes 100% makeup free. it doesn't do a deep enough clean. I have to clean my brushes, let them dry then clean them again to get last dregs of makeup out. this also made my brushes softer, which isn't always what you want. for example firm, stiff brushes like goat hair and kabuki bronzing brushes. so can anyone recommend a good deep cleaning brush cleanser?
Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf is and always will be, my number one favourite perfume. but this comes in at a very close number 2 ! Miss Dior Chérie is pretty and flowery and sweet. it smells expensive too. I think it's on the safe side, Dior could have made this more voluptuous and played on the strawberry and caramel popcorn notes to make it stand out, because there are so many copies out there. this is discontinued in the UK and has been replaced by the new refined Miss Dior, which is a mere shadow of Miss Dior Chérie. and a lot safer on the side boring. the bottle is stunning and you can tell many hours have been put into designing it. I wish they'd have kept Miss Dior Chérie the way it was and not changed it. luckily, I picked up an original bottle of Miss Dior Chérie whilst abroad on holiday.
BB Cream -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector - Light/Medium
COCO792 6/21/2012 8:55:00 AM
I got samples of this from the Garnier website. I got the "light" colour. it matches my true skin colour (sort of) but matches my natural tan colour better. the stuff is quite thick but easily blends into a very thin layer, you have to keep building it up. there isn't a great deal of colour, this lets skin shine through. this stuff is very shiny! I knew the moment I put it on it would just slide off my face in under an hour. even with primer and powder it only lasted 2-3 hours max before it began to dissapear. and also with powder, this stuff was still shiny but more on the glowy side as opposed to the all out wet look without powder. I have slightly oily skin, so I would be better off with the oil free version. which I didn't know about until today when I saw the reviews. I have to say, I wouldn't buy this. it is just too oily, I think even non-oily/ dry skin would have trouble with this. and the staying power is next to nothing.
Self Tanners -St.Tropez - St.Tropez Tinted Self Tanning Mousse/Whipped Bronze
COCO792 3/29/2012 10:30:00 AM
out of all the fake tans I have tried, this is the most expensive, but also the best. I need 2 to 3 coats of this to get an actual tan. with one coat of St Tropez I can achieve the same result with Dove summer glow, and for 1/6 of the price. but 2 to 3 coats give a real looking, even tan. it loses a lot of its colour when you wash it off 4 hours after application. so I either have to apply again, or do about 4 coats the first time. don't be frightened of how dark the liquid is. depending on how much you put on, you can be as light or as dark as you want. all you have to do is blend it in further while you're applying if you think it's too dark. and remember, a lot the colour goes down the drain after the first wash. as for the Aroma-guard, that's a load of rubbish. it does nothing to minimise the fake tan smell. I actually like the smell of fake tan, and the fake tan smell of St Tropez is really quite subtle so there is no need for Aroma-guard. Aroma-guard is just another fragrance ON TOP of the fake tan smell. so what you get is fake tan smell with airfreshener over the top. this fades evenly but rapidly, my tan disappears after about 3-4 days. so I have to maintain this twice a week. which I guess is average, but then again the colour doesn't stay true for 3 days, that is when it's nearly gone. don't pay attention to the 6 months shelf life, they only put that on so you'll use it and buy another. I've had fake tans up to 14 months and they've been fine. also, how can you guys average this price at 3 $$$ ? the only fake tan I have seen that's more expensive than St Tropez is Rodial, which is a niche brand, and that's £40. this deserves at least a 4 $$$$ but I'm giving it 5 because this is top of the mainstream range(price-wise) and you won't find another mainstream tanner that costs more. I'm not sure if I'll buy this again. I'm going to try St Moriz first and see how that goes.
this is, without exaggeration, the best foundation in the world ! I have found what they call the Holy Grail foundation everything about it is perfect! the colour, the consistency, the application, the finish. I have a hard time finding the right colour with foundations, even when being professionally matched. but Skin Base has a realistic and true-to-skin colour selection and 26 shades so nearly every skin tone can be matched. number 06 is my perfect colour, it's like it was made just for me! this is more of a cream than a liquid, and can be built up to medium coverage. but is versatile enough that you can even have a thin layer on for light coverage and still have perfect looking skin! if you blend it right in, with light coverage this is undetectable. so it's true what they say about this being the skin-realism foundation. it's like a second skin. this is not designed to go all the way up to full coverage, I guess you could build it right up but it looked un-natural on me after I put a bit too much of this on. so you only need a small amount, like a pea-sized amount. the best way to apply this is to dot the foundation around your face with fingers, then use a stippling brush to buff it into the skin. it blends effortlessly, leaves no streaks and has a very flattering semi-matte finish. it also photographs extremely well and leaves no flash back, since Illamasqua design their products for theatre and professional use. there is only one downside to this foundation, it doesn't last the entire day. alone it will last around 5/6 hours, but with a matte primer underneath and a matte powder on top (, I use Illamasqua's,) it will last all day. so, small problem easily solved.
I bought the Meteorites brush along with the pearls 3 months ago, I had been wanting them for ages and finally caved. I bought the brush because it's so adorable and matches the pearls. there is far too much hating on this brush! trust me guys, it's really not that bad. I like mine! the brush is kind of small. the bristles aren't really that small though, infact the dome is as big as many powder brushes. it's the handle that is short. and there are powder brushes much more expensive than this. my brush doesn't smell, it has the very VERY faint normal smell all brushes have. and it has absolutley no smell when wet, so I don't know how some people's brushes smell of actual goat. would people even say that if they didn't know it was goat hair? and other people are saying it's not even real goat hair! so how it can it smell of goat when it's not goat hair? I did have some shedding with my brush though, it happened the first few times I cleaned the brush. and now every time I clean it, usually no hairs fall out. but occasionally one or two will shed. but I don't think the shedding is down to poor quality, I think it's because the bristles are goat hair. I have a Boots No7 kabuki brush that is goat hair and that sheds like crazy, especially when I wash it. also, the brush is stiff but not hard, there is a difference. it is stiff as in the bristles aren't too flexible but they're not hard as in solid hard, it is hair not metal wire. and this brush doesn't scrape along the skin like some people claim. stop whining and get a grip, just because this isn't your typical flimsy soft fluffy brush. people are making out like it's a stiff garden brush! I think it is actually quite soft. plus, my brush got softer and more flexible after washing. and at first the bristles were almost straight so the dome was narrow, and also after washing they fanned out so the dome is wider now. the Guerlain assistant at the counter told me this is dyed with natural vegetable dye. so there is no reason for it to irriate the skin, which some people claim it has irritated their skin and caused a rash. stiff brushes pick up more product. so the Meteorites brush is stiff because the powder pearls are so light in terms of coverage. now, I don't know if I'm pressing too hard when I swirl them on my face or if it's just the brush, but after I use the brush there is makeup on it, more than there should be for such a light powder. I know some of the product stays on the brush but this actually buffs off my foundation. which yes does make my foundation smoother, but also messes up my brush. so I have to swirl it on the back of my hand before I next use it or it gets onto the pearls. so this is a bit of a hassle.
Highlighters -Guerlain - Meteorites Perles Teint Rose
COCO792 1/18/2012 3:40:00 PM
I at first (like most people) thought these were a highlighter for the cheeks. they're not! this is a finishing powder designed to illuminate the skin. and also like most people, I saw no difference at first. but then you look more closely and think yes, something is diffrent. I always say Guerlain are contradicting themselves, claiming that the meteorites line (primer etc) are all desinged to make you look natural but radiant. and they put "light relfecting particles" aka glitter in everything in the meteorites line. but then again the glitter isn't that noticeable and there isn't lots of it. the white/silver pearls are the ones with glitter in, so if you don't have all the silver pearls at the top of the pot you will get little/no glitter on your face. the light still catches on the skin and reflects like it normally would with or without this powder. but Meteorites do even out skin tone, (or appear to) so they give a smooth and even finish. I particularly like the finish this powder gives, smooth and even and doesn't look powdery at all. so I guess there aren't any tell tale signs you're wearing the powder, which is what a powder should do. the pearls also seem to stop shine/sweat and make makeup last longer along with primer. the pearls give a natural finish, and I don't go shiny at all during the day. apart from my nose & chin, but they go shiny whatever I have on, so a bit of concealer sorted them out. I have a range of differently priced foundations from Maybelline to Chanel. and I found the pearls go on best on more expensive liquid foundations. they don't do too well on top of powder /powdery finish, like Maybelline matte mousee. these do seem expensive when you think £30-odd just for finishing powder, but there is 30grams. where as most powders are only 9 - 10, at the most 12g. so this is actually quite good for the money. I've had mine 3 months now and the pearls don't appear to have gotten any smaller. and lots of people say they last eons. HINT - testing these in store won't give you a true representation of the colour unless you use a clean brush. because this so light and hardly pigmented and the brush at the counter will have been dipped in every other type of powder and colours that you'll get all the other colours and powders on your skin along with the one you want to try. so take a clean brush and swirl generously into the testing pot and on the back of one of your hands and compare it against the other hand in natural light, you'll see the diffrence.
Primer/ Corrector -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat (Radiant Touch)
COCO792 10/18/2011 10:14:00 AM
this is the perfect under-eye concealer. nothing else compares (other than MAC moisture cover concealer, which is just as perfect). the colour is realistic and pinky :D and not yellow ( shade No 1 ) I use one or two pumps and put it onto my finger to get the full amount of product out. and then onto my eyes with my finger. one pump for a natural look without foundation. and two pumps for a fuller look with foundation. if you just use the brush to apply you won't get the full amount of product as it will absorb into the brush. saying that, no matter how lightly I blend, most of the product absorbs onto my finger rather than my eyes. it's better to pat I think. this also seems very thin and light in coverage, which doesn't help when blending. apart from this being disgustingly priced, it is a very good product. it would be my favourite but it's just too expensive. I bought 2 of these and used them up until I found MAC moisture cover (which is much better value for money). but I won't buy anymore touche eclat. this should retail for £15-17 tops. even if this fits into your budget and your prepared to pay that much for an under-eye concealer, I still don't think it's worth it.
Highlighters -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat No 1
COCO792 10/18/2011 10:12:00 AM
this is the perfect under-eye concealer. nothing else compares (other than MAC moisture cover concealer, which is just as perfect). the colour is realistic and pinky :D and not yellow. I use one or two pumps and put it onto my finger to get the full amount of product out. and then onto my eyes with my finger. one pump for a natural look without foundation. and two pumps for a fuller look with foundation. if you just use the brush to apply you won't get the full amount of product as it will absorb into the brush. saying that, no matter how lightly I blend, most of the product absorbs onto my finger rather than my eyes. it's better to pat I think. this also seems very thin and light in coverage, which doesn't help when blending. apart from this being disgustingly priced, it is a very good product. it would be my favourite but it's just too expensive. I bought 2 of these and used them up until I found MAC moisture cover (which is much better value for money). but I won't buy anymore touche eclat. this should retail for £15-17 tops. even if this fits into your budget and your prepared to pay that much for an under-eye concealer, I still don't think it's worth it.
YSL touche eclat used to be (and still is) my absolute perfect under-eye concealer. I would still use it but the price put me off= £24.50 for 2.5ml , that's disgusting! whereas this is roughly half the price £13.50 for double the product 5ml. I've finally found the answer ! the colour NW15 suits me perfectly, though I would like there to be a little bit more pink in to give it a fleshy colour rather than just being pale. but it does its job of covering up my dark under-eye circles and makes them brighter. this is the first MAC NW concealer I've tried that has realistic colour and doesn't have a yellow base ! :D this isn't too thick, infact I'd say it was light/medium coverage. which is ideal for under-eyes. you can't really wear it alone unless you blend it right in because your perfect bright under-eyes will look un-natural against your skin. but with foundation it looks totally natural. this isn't drying and it never creases. it moisturises the whole time it's on so you skin feels lovely and smooth when you take it off. the first time I wore this and took it off, I thought I still had some on because my eyes felt so smooth. the applicator and the bottle are cute too :D the bottle is plastic, which is more practical than glass to carry round with you as it won't smash. but it lasts all day so you won't need to carry it round. I wipe this from the applicator onto my finger then onto my eye, which is enough to cover both eyes. if you use the applicator straight onto your eyes you won't get as much product out of it. some product does get stuck in the neck of the bottle though, but not much so it's no big deal. in a nutshell : this is the perfect alternative to YSL touche eclat.
I haven't really used toners other than this one. so I can't compare this to anything else. I'm on my 3rd or 4th bottle. but it works, it gets the last dregs of makeup off after a makeup wipe and cleanser and makes my skin smooth and soft. so I'm happy with this. I use the Botanics brightening cleanser too and they make a great team. I use this twice a day but I'm not sure your supposed to use toner everyday. are you? if I was going to change from this toner, I'd go for the sensitive range from Botanics. but I don't feel the need to change. it does make my skin feel a bit dry and tight, but then toner does. so just put moisturiser on and you'll be fine. I use day cream and night cream anyway so this is fine.
Cleansers -Boots - Botanics Skin Brightening Cleanser
COCO792 10/9/2011 11:55:00 AM
I'm on my 3rd or 4th bottle of this. I was looking for an inexpensive sensitive cleanser that I could use everyday without worrying about my skin. I was 16-17 at the time, so had a few spots. I had given up using spot products because they didn't do anything or made me worse. but because this isn't targeted for spots, it doesn't have nasty chemicals in (that I know of) and gently cleans my face. I had dull skin at the time, and I did notice this made my skin clearer and brighter. not brighter as in luminous, but a lot less dull. so I've been using this now for 2years, I'm going on for 19 and this has never failed me. I'm happy with this and haven't thought of buying anything else. if I was going to change from this, I'd probably buy the Botanics sensitive cleanser. but I have sensitive skin and this works fine. it also smells great too. I used to use a cotton ball with this to clean my face, but it didn't really work and I needed a lot of product. I found using my fingers gets a deeper clean and I need a lot less product than with a cotton ball. my skin feels nice a refreshed after using this, and it doesn't make my skin dry and tight. FYI: it doesn't take off makeup that well, so use a makeup wipe first.
Lip Treatments -Christian Dior - Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm
COCO792 10/9/2011 9:51:00 AM
I haven't bought this, I was in Boots with my friend and we were trying products from the Dior counter. I'd heard about this and wanted to try it out. the colour of the balm on the stick is kind of bright pink but not super pigmented. and when I put it on it looked super bright Barbie pink. but I did put lots on to get the full effect. I actually really like the pink it gave me, it gave me a real light bright pinky pink. I just think it was too Barbie. but hopefully with just one coat it will look more natural. my lips really glow with this. we tried a few glosses aswell and Dior lip products have a glow that I've never seen before on any lip product. it is a lip balm, not a gloss and not a lipstick. and it's not a combination of either. it's just a tinted lip balm. if your still not convinced it even feels like a chapstick, but softer and more luxurious. the consistency is neither sticky or glossy, just smooth and silky. I think the price is disgusting for a lip balm £20+. if it was £15 I would buy it but at £21 is just ridiculous! it didn't seem to last long on me either, it started off bright pink straight away then faded and came back. but my lips did feel really smooth and soft after using this. if your prepared to pay an extortionate price for this then go for it because it does work. but otherwise it's just too expensive.
I went to try a foundation at the MAC counter and said I didn't want powder over it because I wanted to see what the foundation looked like naturally. so the MAC artist very lightly put Blot powder in medium/dark on my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. this day happened to be a very hot day in England, at a guess it was 28°C. I was a hot wet mess when I went to the MAC counter, and I looked nice and refreshed when I came out. within 5minutes my face was melting again, except for the parts where the Blot powder had been applied. yes my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin were still dry! so that is your proof that this actually works, wonderfully I might add. but shade medium/dark is too dark for me. it looked like I had bronzer on, so this would work nice in summer. I went back again and tried this in Medium, which looked fine at the counter. but it a little bit pale for me. I set my t-zone with this over foundation, then apply a little bit of bronzer to bring some colour back into my face. this is an amazing powder though, and you get a generous amount too, 12g. what I like about this powder is that it doesn't make you matte, it gives you a natural finish but it stops grease and oil.