I'm currently trailing foundations for my wedding, and after reading/watching several blog and YouTube reviews, I decided this could be a good option. Estee Lauder Double Wear is my HG, but the SPF in it gives serious ghost face, so it's not going to be appropriate for wedding photographs. In Rich Liquid, I may have found my perfect wedding foundation. It doesn't have the staying power of Double Wear, but, let's face it, little does. It still lasts well though (will tackle a full work day with no probs), and I personally have no issues with it transferring on to clothes etc. (I set it with a tiny bit of powder). I also have no application problems. I use a flat-topped kabuki style brush and it buffs on perfectly. Perhaps using primer helps - I use Illamasqua Gleam Cream, MUFE HD Primer or The Body Shop's Vit C Skin Reviver, depending on my mood and which is closest! I've heard some people say that this foundation is much too heavy for everyday, but I don't agree with this. I like full-coverage foundations and, even though this gives more coverage than Double Wear, it gives a natural finish and feels a bit lighter on the skin. I barely need concealer when I wear it. If I do feel I need a bit of extra coverage, on a blemish for example, I just use a little extra foundation, applied with a concealer brush. Another major plus point from my point of view is that it photographs beautifully. I personally find the Illamasqua salespeople (at the Belfast counter, anyway) to be at the more helpful and knowledgeable end of the spectrum, so if you're near a counter you should get matched well. However, I know there are gaps in the colour spectrum of this. I'm lucky that I found a match, but I know sometimes people have to blend a couple of shades together to match their skintone, which obviously makes it a bit on the pricey side.
This isn't designed as a primer (though reading other reviews it seems to work well for this purpose for other people). It's meant to intensify shimmer/glitter shadows. I find it works as well with pressed shadows as loose ones. Obviously it's great with Fyrinnae shadows, but it does amazing things to Urban Decay, Barry M, MAC... basically any shadow with a glitter or shimmer element. It doesn't do much for matte shadows. I apply UD Primer Potion first, then layer this on top. You only need a tiny, *tiny* amount. The first time I used this, it made my shadow go on in clumps. I had a look at a couple of YouTube tutorials and realised this was because I'd applied far too much. Really, take the minimum you think you could possibly need to apply, then half it - that's how little you need to use. I love this product and definitely consider it to be HG. Ridiculously cheap considering how long it will last!
Lotions/ Creams -LUSH - Soft Coeur Massage Bar (The Honeymooner)
LizziBizzi 8/25/2010 7:21:00 AM
I love every Lush massage bar I've tried. This one's fairly indulgent, since it's a lot smaller than the rest and therefore a good bit more expensive. It's really a 2-use bar (one for you, one for your loved one!), as opposed to the others, which last for ages. It's so lovely, though, that I really don't care. 'The Honeymooner' is definitely an appropriate name for this - it's best used for romantic purposes. Because of the chocolate centre, it is messy. You're going to need to take a shower afterwards (and change your sheets!), so it's more appropriate for making a night of it than a business-like massage. The chocolate orange vanilla scent is heavenly and, like all Lush massage bars, it feels absolutely gorgeous on the skin. Definitely recommended for a romantic night in (or weekend away - let the hotel deal with the sheets!).
I'm a fan of Lush, but I have to say I'm not a fan of this product. It's a pretty horrible smell, but I probably could have got past this if it had been great in other ways. Unfortunately, I find it very awkward to use. You're supposed to mix it into a paste with a bit of water, but I found that it didn't mix particularly well. It was too hard and grainy going on the skin - I know this will have helped to exfoliate, but it was hard to get every part of my skin covered evenly. It also took an age to rinse off. Even when I thought I'd got it all, I'd still find little bits of green in my hairline or on my neck. To be fair, it didn't break me out and, suprisingly given its texture, my skin didn't feel dry or tight after using it. I didn't notice any improvement in skin texture or frequency/ferocity of spots, though. For a company that has so many great products, this is defintiely not one of their best.
This works best purely as a makeup remover - I'd advise having a separate, lighter cleanser to use in the morning, as very few people will need something as heavy-duty as this for regular cleansing. For removing makeup, though, this is a truly amazing product. I wear EL Double Wear foundation, which sets and stays put all day. A lot of cleansers and makeup removers struggle to get rid of it, as well as the colours I like to put on my eyes. Ultrabland cuts through it all easily, and even takes off waterproof mascara. I can understand why some people might not like the scent or texture. It smells and feels pretty oily, but I have to say this doesn't bother me. Don't assume that just because it's oil based it won't work for combination or oily skin. My skin is combination and it works amazingly on me. It's never broken me out, even though my skin can be quite sensitive. On the negative side, Lush suggests removing it with damp cotton wool. I did it this way for about half of the first pot I owned, but it's messy and too much of a hassle. Too often, I couldn't be bothered to use it and ended up reaching for a baby wipe instead. A dampened muslin cloth works a lot better. If, like me, you can't be bothered constantly washing muslin cloths, a baby wipe dampened under water will do the same job in a disposable form (maybe not so good for the environment, but...). Ususally, heavy-duty effective makeup removers make my skin feel really tight and uncomfortable - I have to race to apply my moisturiser. This leaves my skin feeling really comfortable, as if it's already been moisturised. I have to remind myself to put moisturiser on after I use it. I may be going mad, but I'm sure Lush used to sell this in a 250g size? Maybe not, but I wish they would, since the 100g pot only lasts me just over a month (yes I wear a lot of makeup!) and it would be handy not to have to schlepp into the city centre so often just to rebuy it. I also wish it was slightly cheaper. Because of the price, I still tend to experiment with other products from time to time. If they made it a few quid cheaper, I'd never stray!
Self Tanners -Unlisted Brand - St. Moriz Self Tanner Foam
LizziBizzi 8/17/2010 7:54:00 AM
You really can't beat this for the price. I know that the RRP is around £6.99, but I get this in Northern Ireland at Semi-Chem or Gordon's Chemists for £2.99! I believe Home Bargains in England also sells it for this price. Honestly, I think this performs as well as self-tan 10 times its price. I find it really easy to apply with a tanning mitt (you do need to do it in sections, though, as, like any tanning foam, it dries fairly quickly). It has a really good guide colour so it's easy to make sure you haven't missed anywhere. Though it does have that tell-tale fake tan smell, it's not at all unbearable. I've definitely used worse. It also doesn't seem to leave as much residue on my sheets as some brands, though it does still leave some. You're not really supposed to use mousse tanners on your face. I decided to be a daredevil and try it anyway (simply because I'd run out of anything else to use instead!), and I actually got a perfect result. I was sure it would probably break me out at least a bit, but it didn't at all, even though my skin is quite sensitive. I just use it on my face for handiness now, rather than having to mess about with a second product, but I realise it may not work for everyone for this purpose. The main negative of this is the fact that the guide colour is a decent bit darker than the shade underneath. The guide colour makes me look very brown - almost over-the-top - with one coat. Once I rinse it off in the shower the next morning, though, I'm left with a very natural, but fairly subtle colour. I've now learnt that I need to do 2 coats of this to get the colour I'm looking for. This is the same for me with most self-tan products; the difference is that I can tell that's the case from their guide colours. With this one, you'll think you're going to end up with a deeper tan than you actually get. Once you know this, though, it's not a problem - it just means that you know to do 2 coats even though the guide colour looks deep enough after one. Personally, I think it's amazing that St Moriz gives as good a (if not better, in some cases) tan than the likes of Fake Bake and St Tropez while costing almost a tenth of what they do. I love how much money I'm saving since I started using this!
I bought this bascially because I'm a huge fan of the blush and Multiple in the same colour. I do think this is a really nice colour, though you have to be careful how you wear it. If I use the Orgasm Multiple on my lips, I'll top it either with lip balm or a slighly pinkier toned gloss. The Multiple and matching gloss worn layered is a bit much; slightly too 'Dynasty' looking. The gloss either on its own or layered over a different lipstick shade looks really good though. The wear time is impressive. I tend to lick my lips a lot, so thin, cheap glosses disappear within ten minutes. This one will last up to an hour on me without reapplication, and the average non-liplicker will get more out of it than that. On the negative side, it is a very gloopy, sticky gloss, which not everyone will like. I'd definitely prefer it to be a bit less sticky, but I realise that the very thing I don't like about it is probably also the reason I'm so impressed with how long it lasts. It's also fairly pricey for a gloss, though I do think the whole NARS line has a lovely luxurious, quality feel about its packaging that makes up for this somewhat.
The same beautiful, suits-everyone colour of the blush in a handy stick form. I've heard some people complain about the texture of the Multiples - that they're too drying and not creamy enough. I don't find this to be the case at all. Though I have combination skin, my cheeks can actually be quite dry. I find that the Multiple glides on easily and never highlights dry areas or makes them feel worse. In fact, I think the texture is just perfect. Most cream cheek colours can leave me looking a bit too shiny. I had a few Stila Convertible Colors in my teens, and I may as well have just plastered my cheeks in cooking oil. The Multiple never has this effect. I also think it works really well on the lips. Mine are highly pigmented, so this actually helps to tone down the colour a bit and make them more neutral. It is fairly shimmery looking, more so than the powder blush version, so you need to go for subtle application in the daytime. I find that this has great staying power. I tend to layer it with a sweep of the powder blush on top. Applied this way, it lasts all day and into the night without reapplication.
There's so much hype around this blush, but trust me, it's for a reason. This is a beautiful shade that seems to adapt to suit different skintones. I have fairly pink-toned skin, so on me the pinky colours in this stand out the most, with the peaches being a more subtle background colour. On my sister, who has much darker skin, a lot more of the peach seems to come through. This goes on fairly sheer but builds nicely for added intensity. I think this is perfect since it gives you the option of being subtle or in-your-face, and makes it very hard to overdo. I also find it extremely long-lasting (though this may be helped slightly by the fact that I tend to layer it over the Orgasm Multiple). It's pretty pricey, but worth it in my opinion as it's beautiful and lasts forever - I've had mine for nearly two years, worn it virtually every day, and there isn't even a noticeable dent in it! The only possible negative is the sparkle/shimmer in it. This is beautiful for night, and I personally find it very wearable for day too, as long as you're not heavy handed with it. Some people might find it a bit too much for daytime, though, depending on personal taste.
Everyone should try this product! My skin is combination/sensitive, so it needs regular exofoliation to keep oil and blemishes at bay, but is easily irritated by scrub products. The Facial Buffer has completely solved my exfoliating problems! I use it every morning in the shower with my normal every day cleanser. It exofiliates really gently yet effectively - my skin feels incredibly soft, but never irritated - and it seems to drive the cleansing product deeper into my skin, making it more effective. I personally would continue to buy this even if it was twice the price. At £3, it lasts me about 3 months before it wears out and needs replaced - pretty amazing for everyday use! You could easily pay ten times as much for a high-end scrub that would last 6 weeks at best. It actually saves even more money because it removes the need to buy a separate exfoliating product at all. Love, love, LOVE!
I love Vitamin E Face Mist, it's amazing! I spritz it on to prepare my skin for makeup application, then again after I've finished to set it, and I carry it with me throughout the day so I can rehydrate my skin and refresh my makeup when I'm out and about. It has a delicate rosewater scent that I really love - it's so light and refreshing. I've seen people say this is a good alternative to MAC Fix+. I've never tried it, but the Vit E mist is definitely excellent at setting makeup. I used to use Caudalie Beauty Elixir in the same way that I use this. I loved it, as well, but it's more than twice the price and they both seem to perform equally well. I love the fact that I can use the Vit E mist liberally, without worrying about having to spend a fortune on replacing it. I even spray it on to my makeup brushes when I want to apply eyeshadows wet - it seems to work better than water for this purpose! A must-buy.
Fragrances -Viktor & Rolf - Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb
LizziBizzi 8/16/2010 7:58:00 AM
I adore this perfume and wear it everywhere except to work. I go for something cheap and cheerful for that purpose, to make a bottle of this last longer, since it is on the pricey side. In my opinion, however, it's well worth it's price tag, especially since it's long-lasting (I reapply it every 4hrs or so, and could probably get away with leaving it even longer). This is such an unusual scent; I haven't found anything even remotely similar to it. It may just be the way it reacts with my body chemistry, but as well as rose, jasmine and all the other fragrance notes it contains, I actually get a hint of sweet popcorn on the drydown of this. Sounds bizarre, I know, but it's actually amazing and, don't worry, it's subtle. I get loads of compliments wearing this. I've lost count of the number of times a cashier/hairdresser/random passerby has asked me what it is. Flowerbomb is definitely my signature scent, and while the selfish part of me wants to keep it a secret from as many people as possible, the more generous side of my personality thinks that everyone should test this out. Gorgeous.
I had heard so many rave reviews of this product that I was really excited to try it. Sadly, it's a bit of a disappointment. My hair has a very subtle natural wave; I was hoping that Surf Spray would enhance this and create lovely, loose, beachy waves, as I'd heard lots of people (including close friends!) say it does. Honestly, I can't really see a difference when I use it. There might be a very, *very* subtle one, but it's certainly not worth paying this price for. I see several other reviewers here saying that it dries out their hair. Ironcially, if anything, it makes my already fairly greasy hair get greasy even quicker. Perhaps it exacerbates dryness in dry hair and greasiness in greasy hair? The only good thing I can say about this is that it's an okay smell, but that's hardly a ringing endorsement. I've found that salt sprays in general, not just this one, don't seem to work very well, but I've used drugstore ones that have been more effective than this for less than half the price.
My boyfriend bought me this palette as part of my birthday present recently and I'm really happy with it (I always knew he had good taste!). The 4 neutral eyeshadows in this are just perfect - neutrals with a bit of kick! They're all really pigmented and long-lasting even without primer, but put primer underneath and they're absolutely outstanding in terms of wear and pigmentation. I especially love the Poodle Puff Raisin colour as I love the slight purpley tone of it, which really makes my eyecolour pop. Ooh & Aah (the black) is also really pigmented and works well as a liner even when dry - wet it is amazing. Mess In A Dress (the bright pink colour) is a lot sheerer than the other 5. I personally think this is no bad thing, since it would be nearly impossible to use this colour on your eyes if it came out true to pan. Conjuctivitis is not a good look! Because it's sheer, it can actually look good blended subtly into the crease or v. By far my favourite use for it, though, is as a blusher. It's a perfect pink for my cool toned skin. I already own the two bronzers as part of the Bronzed & The Beautiful palette, and really love them both. Pink Leopard is great as a highlighter, while Sun Bunny is one of my favourite bronzers to add a bit of depth to a tan. I'm going on holiday in a couple of weeks, and this palette will be amazing for that, with eye colours that will take me from day to night, a perfect blusher, a bronzer and a highlighter. It'll really help me travel light!
Bronzers -Too Faced - The Bronzed & the Beautiful Bronzing Powder
LizziBizzi 8/13/2010 7:46:00 AM
I bought this because the packaging is just so gorgeous. I already own the Pink Leopard bronzer, and love it as a highlighter or a very subtle bronzer when I'm pale (there's a bit too much pink in it to give a true bronze colour on top of a tan), but I hadn't tried either of the others before. Both of them are great, especailly Sun Bunny, which is probably my most-used bronzer when I'm tanned. I like to use the two colours from it swirled together as it gives me a perfect deep bronzed colour. It doesn't look orangey at all, and though there's shimmer in it, this is subtle enough for daytime wear. Unfortunately, the Snow Bunny bronzer broke up on me after I'd only had the set for a couple of months (I took it on holiday and my suitcase was manhandled by baggage handlers - it came out looking like an elephant had sat on it!). It's a shame since I eventually had to just clean out the Snow Bunny pan completely (loose bits of it were starting to contaminate the other two). I don't really blame this on the formulation or packaging though. Any powder can break up if it's thrown about as violently as this one clearly was, and though this is packaged in cardboard, it's coated and very sturdy, and has an effective magnetic closure. I don't use the enclosed brush - though it's lovely and soft, I find it a bit too small and flat. I much prefer a big, rounded brush to swirl it on all over, but it's still lovely to get such a good quality brush included in a set like this. Even if it doesn't quite suit my application method, I can see some people loving it. This is a very pretty looking set that also delivers in terms of formulation. It'd make a great gift.