For many years I've dyed my hair every colour of red under the sun, and with 99% of the so-called "permanent" red dyes I've tried, the hair's been somewhat fried, and the colour's washed out in a couple of weeks, regardless..... whereas the "semi permanent" ones I've tried have been even more short-lived, practically equivalent to a coloured conditioner effectively. It's enough to get a girl VERY fed up. Well, this one - Country Colors - comes in the naffest, most old lady packaging you can imagine (at least here in the UK - it's got wheatsheafs on it for goodness sake) and is quite hard to get hold of (my local semiChem stock it, but I don't think Boots or most Superdrugs do)... but.... it delivers. It is a long lasting, conditioning, even coverage semi-permanent hair dye that fades naturally over time, but DOESN'T wash straight out: and this is the red shades we're talking about, which tend to be the most notoriously short lived type of hair colour. GREAT stuff. Shadewise I've tried Grand Canyon (copper red) which was nice, but my favourite is "Marrakesh", a darker red (for a while the shade description was "rouge noir", which I thought was so cool), and I swear by it. I still occasionally use permanent dyes on my hair, my favourite being Superdrug's budget bargain "warm intense red", through sheer laziness, and I will sometimes use Country Colors to keep my redness "topped up" in between red dyes, but it's lovely stuff, and lasts better than a lot of so-called permanent dyes: therefore would recommend wholeheartedly to someone who's not as committed to red hair as I am, but maybe just wants to try it for a while.
This soap has a pleasant, lemony scent and the sandy side gives a decent, if slightly over-abrasive for me, exfoliation to the skin, I'd use it on "bumpy cellulitey" bits alone as it is quite a tough 'n stingy scrub it gives. This, and the fact that the soap doesn't last very long at all (even by Lush's standards, all their soaps are quite melty) have contributed to my mediocre rating. Shame, the smell IS nice...
This is the first Carmex product I tried, and I only picked it up after reading rave reviews on US makeup sites for this brand of balm. So when I saw Carmex over here in the UK, I grabbed one, and was particularly delighted at the retro-cuteness of the cheery yellow tub with the cherry on the top. What do I think of the balm? Well, it's very emollient-feeling on the lips and surprisingly light to wear. When I took my first little bit from the pot it was harder than I expected it to be, but it applies really nicely and smoothly melts into the lips. The flavour is not overpowering, cherry with a hint of menthol, and it makes your lips tingle a bit. Cheaper balms I've tried don't seem to moisturise as well as this, as it really did appear to help fix a lot of cold-weather damage quickly, and the feel and wear is pretty good. SP15 is a bonus, too. But the thing I like best about Carmex is the pretty, subtle sheen on the lips: as if you're wearing just a TEENY bit of a high-shine lipgloss, but without the stickiness of a gloss. Overall a winner, but I do note with mild concern after reading the reviews here for the main Carmex product, that one ingredient of this balm is salcylic acid - aka aspirin.... which means that some care should possibly be taken using this balm, and it should probably be used for already-damaged lips only rather than just as a general balm.
Now I'm a great fan of liquid eyeliners with "stubby" tips rather than long spindly brushes as I find them much easier to use (yup, I'm a liner klutz), but very few brands do this kind of applicator.... I've just discovered that Barry M liquid liner has a great applicator - felt-tip-pen like but sturdy - and lasts and lasts. My Collection 2000 Fast Stroke liner (HG) is cheaper than Barry M, but the big advantage of the Barry M is the range of COLOURS. Ohmygolly are they pretty! So far I've got the hot pink (awesome and just doesn't smudge), the vibrant turquoise (lovely with brown eyes) and the one misfire, which I've docked a lippie for, is the shimmer purple, which unfortunately is really runny and not so pigmented as the other colours. Boo......... Will probably go back for the emerald green and the electric blue too, but will test them first after the purple one being such a disappointment. Overall, a lovely product and a great price though.
I've been eying this palette up for ages, amazed at the value it represents, but at the same time, telling myself I don't NEED any more eyeshadows, lol... finally succumbed and am glad, nine half-size eyeshadows for the price of 2 full-size ones in the same range really is a no-brainer for the bargain-hunting gal.... The other reason it took me a while to get round to buying this was that I flippin' HATE the palette (indeed, all modern Urban Decay palettes really annoy me: what was wrong with the beautiful slimline metal face-cases they produced in the 90s? Glorious, simple, hardy, PRACTICAL.....). The Deluxe shadow box is made, I think, of re-inforced card, which seems kinda flimsy to me.... it's big and bulky to the extent of being non-handbag/purse friendly... and to top off the stoopid unpracticality of the design, the outside is coated in purple velvet (which ya know is going to get grubby reaaaal quickly specially in makeup bags), and some tacky looking silver sequin-y mesh stuff that to me, just screams of dodgy hippy jewellery from the 1970's: not very "Urban Decay" cool at all. But- aesthetics aside (hey, some people may love the look of the thing), and putting aside the practicality/portability (or lack thereof!) of the palette, let's look at the products on offer, as, at the end of the day, that's what really matters ain't it folks! The shades are as follows: Fishnet: Hot shimmery pink with violet-y blue duochrome. Perfectly servicable shadow, but practically identical to MAC's "Stars 'N Rockets" (one of my all-time favourite bright shadows), only not half so good/pigmented..... Fishnet is IMHO more comparable to the "cheap and cheerful" Milani Shock. There is no way on Earth I'd buy the full-size of this eyeshadow, but I'll probably use it a bit, as it's in the box. 3/5 Honey: Perfectly named, this is a super-shimmery pollen-like rich and beautiful gold, with a lovely buttery finish. Kinda looks a bit like MAC Goldmine - a shadow I don't personally possess, but am citing just for colour reference. I think Honey is yellower and shinier, though. A very unique shadow if you like the sound of that description, but it looks horrible on me as I have a very sallow skintone, and I doubt I'll use it, which is a shame as it's very nice. 4/5 Ransom: Now, here we're talking!!! A beautiful, shimmery, rich, highly-pigmented blue-toned violet, this is approaching "HG" purple for me. Over UDPP the colour "pops" and is deep and beautiful. I don't know of any other purple quite like it, and I have *dozens*. When I've used this up (and perhaps even before), I will almost certainly buy the full-size shadow. I would describe Ransom as everything I'd hoped MAC's "Parfait Amour" would be, but wasn't quite there. A real surprise star of the palette. 5/5 Graffiti: Shimmer emerald, very pretty and I'll wear this. REALLY bright. Reminds me of a less sheer version of UD's own "Vert", and reminds me of a slightly brighter version of MAC's limited edition "Wondergrass" - which is my all-time favourite green, REALLY bright, and it's hard to believe that Graffiti is actually a mote or two even brighter! 4/5 Zero: A decent, workaday, blendable black with a small amount of shimmer. Quite like this at the moment, but haven't tried anything particularly demanding like a super-dark "smokey eye" with it, just used it to line and highlight creases with in looks. Doesn't do anything special that MAC Carbon, or my "budget buy" Barry M black dazzledust doesn't do for me. I like it, I'm not in love. 4/5 Peace: Like "Honey", this colour to me is absolutely unique. MUCH brighter than the other "superbright" turquoise I know, that being MAC's Electric Eel..... and yet, Peace's gorgeous slight pearly-metallic finish makes it something even more unique.... I noticed someone else here mentioned Fyrinnae Digital Faerie, and yeah, Peace is closer to that in texture (no duochrome though), though probably even brighter. 5/5, but I'd probably not buy the full-size shadow, as this is not a colour I would use a huge amount myself. Shag: a kinda goldy-bronzey-beige kinda colour. Nothing exciting. Does nothing for my colouring, personally; the other two neutrals in the palette work a lot better for me. 3/5 Scratch: Now when I wear "neutrals", this is the kind of colour I adore: a muted, champagne pink with loads of pearly-metallic shimmer, soft and wearable and not "glittery" at all. Kinda like UD's "Shotgun" (but paler), kinda like MAC's Expensive Pink (but less peach-toned). I love Shotgun, I love Expensive Pink, and I love Scratch, and they are all subtly different and worth having. I did find it didn't wear quite as well as some of the more "showy" colours in this palette though. 4/5 Underground: Another pretty, shimmery neutral, this is a light-medium golden taupe that makes me think a little bit of MAC's "Tempting", although "Tempting" is very much darker: bet "Tempting" would make a great crease colour with Underground. Highly wearable and pretty, but like Scratch, found it's lastability wasn't as great as it could have been. 4/5 So if I average out the score of the nine shadows and add the 1/5 I would mark for the horrid box.... then figure om the 5/5 that I would give the included Urban Decay Primer potion (fantastic product!) that gives this palette a 3.8/5, which I think is indicative of my feelings about it. A solid little buy and great value, but a less "gimicky" more solid box, some decent applicators, and possibly the inclusion of another couple of colours (I would have LOVED if they'd included "Heat") would have made it absolutely essential, even if the price were increased.
Buttery-soft in texture, full of pigment and light to wear - tick, tick, tick, I agree with every other reviewer's description of this lovely new eyeshadow texture. I'm a big fan of Veluxe Pearls, but the starflashes are at least their par..... as for the colour.... Smoke & Diamonds is one of those colours that's probably gonna look slightly different on every single skintone, but will probably flatter them all IMHO..... on me (NW20, very sallow/yellowish undertones) I would describe it as a true "duochrome" - exactly half a nice wood-mushroom medium earthy taupe, exactly half a soft gunmetal grey, and it shimmers equally with both hues in different lights.... and is there even a *tiny* flash, somehow, of emerald green in there amongst all the shimmer? (Note also, as other reviewers have already commented: NO obvious glitter, just very rich, deep, flattering shimmer going on here).... The only things I have even remotely like this are "Club" (which is darker and warmer, and a chocolate brown/green duochrome.... so quite a different colour, but with a similar duochrome "flash" to it as Smoke & Diamonds), and "Moth Brown" (which is a heather brown/smoky purple shimmer). Absolutely divine, and although I've only just bought it, I know the pot will go a long, long way from the tiny, tiny quantity I had to apply to do my socketline, and I foresee wearing it with a wide variety of colours - got it on with "Lotusland" at the moment, and they look GORGEOUS together. Considering breaking my lifetime habit and actually BUYING a backup for once, I wish I had with Moth Brown, and this shadow is AT LEAST as beautiful, versatile and flattering as that.... go buy a pot. Now.
Lipstick -MAC - Tropic Glow slimshine lipstick (Cool Heat collection)
cyber_showgirl 7/9/2008 7:55:00 AM
Picked this up and slicked some on, on impulse, in the MAC store last night as I was waiting for the assistant to get me something from the back of the store. The girl came back and went "wow, that lip colour looks really good on you".... and indeed it did so I had to buy it! This is my first slimshine lipstick, and I would describe these as something that gives the look of a gloss, and a nice moisturising boost to the lips, without the icky stickiness associated with a lipgloss. I'm personally not a "gloss girl" at all, for me it's lipsticks all the way, and the slimshine range is a nice addition to MAC's arsenal of sheer, wearable moisturising lipstick collection in addition to their lustres and glazes. Tropic Glow is described on the MAC site as "blue pink with a silver pearl", but I think it's got a slight peachiness to it, too - I would describe it as "bubblegum pink", it's sheer and super-glossy with just a bright pop of colour to brighten your face, and lots of shimmery sparkles which give the lip a "wet" look. Sheer enough for a natural look at work, but definitely not entirely a "barely there" lip. 4 stars instead of 5 for 2 reasons: 1. Not a huge fan of the long slim twist-up case, why didn't they just release these in the standard bullet case? But this is just personal taste, and 2. The lipstick could be harder wearing, and unfortunately the "sparkles" get kind of left behind a little after the rest of the lipstick rubs off, meaning that you can be left with little bits of twinkly glitter stuck to your lip between top-ups. But these are minor quibbles. This is a very nice lipstick indeed!
*LOVELY* little eyeshadow at a super-steal price. Nicely pigmented, not all Milani shadows pack this much punch, this is a nice silky pinkish lavendar, quite vibrant, and the pinkish notes perk it up enough to work on my very sallow NW20 skin without making me look sickly - a lot of pale purple colours do.... Go get one, it's a bargain.
Polishes -China Glaze - Turned Up Turquoise 849237
cyber_showgirl 5/12/2008 4:44:00 AM
This is a WEIRD nailvarnish, and initially I didn't care for it at all, but one I find myself coming back to, time and time again. Why? Because the colour is so fresh and unique. I've bought other turquoise polishes, and none of them ZING as much as this. Really bright, and more at the green end of the turquoise family than blue. Why do I describe it as "weird"? Has a strange blobby texture that's hard to get right without streaking. 2 coats minimum are essential to even it out. Also has a strange finish which I don't much care for. Metallic, but with a weird low sheen which just looks WRONG to me - I prefer my polishes to have a lot of shine, whether that be "car paint finish metallic shine" (OPI's speciality IMHO), or a glossiness to them. For me therefore, Turned Up Turquoise NEEDS a glossy topcoat or your nails just look kind of dull and odd. And finally, it chips quite a bit. But at the end of the day, I didn't pay a lot for this polish, and the colour is to die for - I ALWAYS get comments when I wear this. (PS - fivezero's pics are spot on and show exactly the "kind of weird" finish - thanks for writing awesome reviews!)
Club is very beautiful, and the only reason I've not reviewed it before is the fact that so many others here have done such a good job of reviewing it - a truly "duochrome" shadow which is part taupe, part green shimmer and very versatile, giving different looks depending on how thick/thin you apply it. It's absolute LOVE for hazel eyes like mine, would recommend it to any hazel eyed girls without hesitation.
This one I tried and didn't like at all - the mauvey-raspberry colour was very pretty in the tube, but the white "pearly bits" kinda sat on my lips and looked like obvious chunks of glitter. It may be worth mentioning that my lips are possibly 1 or 2 shades deeper than "Hey Sailor", which is probably the source of the problem, but I've plenty of similar metallicy-pinky "my lips but pale and interesting" glosses that I normally pair with a dark smoky eye, and none of them have this "kiddie that's been eating doughnuts and got some sugar stuck to the lips" effect. Suppose that just proves MAC's description of this having "white pearl flecks" then!
This colour is TO DIE for, a beautiful metallic medium greyish-mauve, and the texture is lovely (is it just me or have recent MAC "frost" eyeshadows been giving the awesome Veluxe Pearls a run for their money in their smoothness and butteriness?) Sadly, this is not for me, I am VERY warm toned (NW20 with olivey undertones, quite strong undereye shadows, and golden-brown eyes) and anything which is too silver/grey tends to really wash me out and spotlight those undereye shadows in an unflattering way. I JUST about get away with Idol eyes, which is a similar shade to this but with a goldish lustre (and a considerably inferior texture to the lovely Illegal Cargo). I put this on in the store and walked about for 5 minutes glancing at myself in different mirrors trying to convince myself that I COULD pull this off, but it just looked very weird..... but if you're cooler-toned than me and are looking for a "grown up" neutral shadow that's just a wee bit different, this is a winner.... and I think it would look KILLER on anyone with blue eyes, it would really make them pop.
Well I just came back from the MAC store clutching Port Red in my greasy little hands, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to go back for this one, too. A LOVELY lustre (I love MAC lustre lipsticks! They're so moisturising!) in a warming, mid-tone sheer pink with a smattering of pretty glitter, but not in-your-face "little girl" glitter at all. Gorgeous and perfect for daywear. My first thought on trying this on was "wow, this is like my HG facewarming pink lipgloss, but in lipstick form, so without any of that icky gloss stickiness". MUCH better than the pink-toned lustreglass in the same collection, which I found had too much obvious glitter for me. A real winner! Only thing stopped me buying it on the spot was the fact it IS so sheer, and subtle, and my tendency these days is only to splash out "high end" for really dramatic colours.... but this is super-pretty and I think a must-have purchase for me, gives a "subtly done" lip.... NW20 for reference.
Lipstick -MAC - Naughty Nauticals - Port Red [DISCONTINUED]
cyber_showgirl 5/7/2008 8:53:00 AM
That's another £11 of my hard-earned money blown on a BEAUTIFUL, IRRESISTIBLE red lipstick from those evil temptresses of lovely colour at MAC, lol..... I'm really surprised to see a colour as warm and, to my mind "wintery" as this in a summer colour collection..... I purchased it to replace "Queen's Sin" from the MAC Antiquitease collection, and it is very similar to that beautiful, subtly glittering pearl of a red indeed, with Port Red being a teensy touch brighter than QS (which I lost! and was gutted by!) VERY happy having been able to pick up a lookeylikey. Port Red has a lovely texture and a LOT of pigment (it stained my lips when I wiped it off!), but the soft pearliness makes it suitable for a (statement-making) daytime shade as well as for showstopping eveningwear; I tried it on in natural daylight on a hot, sunny day with no other makeup on, and it didn't overpower my face at all - just pretty and sassy.... so maybe a good summer shade after all. Recommended.
Yup, this is a fabulous polish, ALWAYS gets comments when I wear it, and it lasts really well. Very red, and the glitter is the perfect consistency: no big chunky ugly bits, fine, but not so fine that it just becomes a metallic (if you see what I mean: it's DEFINITELY still glitter.... glitter, but grown up.) Be prepared to do 2 coats, though. It's still got better opacity than 99% of glitter polishes I've tried though (most of which seem to be glitter sitting in a gloopy, translucent almost clear polish), so a really nice combination of colour depth and glitter overall. Good lastability, doesn't chip too badly, not got a bad word to say about this one. A winner.