Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Two perfect reds: Beauté

Sometimes you just know you're onto a perfect thing.  Beauté really know their reds and I kind of don't want to go anywhere else ever again.  I know - I talk about red lipstick all the time - two-steps-ahead continually bouncing around all over the place and onto-the-next-one kind of thing.  I can rhapsodise about all these different nuances and textures, and which ones make me walk tall swinging my hair, and which ones leave me trampy and trouty-mouthed.

L-R: Masochist, Fever.

Beauté is one of those companies who have slowly-very-slowly come into the periphery of my consciousness.  It started with a retina-scarring neon pinky stain called Flouron, which was totally beautiful and lives in my handbag in case of that emergency looking a bit pale feeling, in which case I dab a little on my cheeks and I look less like I'm about to pass out and people stop offering me a seat on the Tube.

It was inevitable that I was going to home in on the reds after that, really, but I think it took me about 2 years in the end to muster up the courage to put them in my basket and actually pay for them (apparently that last step of putting in my card information is just so arduous).  Masochist was the first, and the name suits.  It's fierce (not in the Tyra way, she has completely ruined that word for EVERYONE), and bitchy and needs some spike heels and a leather jacket.  Or just wear it with a hoodie and open the door to the postman wearing it, which is what I usually do, the postman is long past being scared anymore.  It's an opaque lip crème in a 'Helmut Newton red', and lasts exceptionally well considering it's of the creamy-slidey (this sounds rude, but I'm leaving it in), texture.


Beauté Masochist.

If you found that Chanel Dragon made you look like a bit of an old crack whore due because it sinks into your INVISIBLE LIP LINES THAT SHOULDN'T BE THERE and makes your lips age about 20 years in one fell swoop, then this is the thing you want.  You're welcome.

Beauté's Fever is the one that I'm all over though.  I call this my Snow White on a good day (you know, when she wasn't doing the housework for the seven dwarves or sleeping in a glass display coffin), because it's dark and cherry-syrupy and plays off against my Tippex-coloured complexion and dark hair.  With this, I feel pretty, but in a POW! SNEAK ATTACK kind of way.  This lasts pretty much all day, and boy does it stain.  I pretty much would never use this on my cheeks, as it would look like I've been clobbered with a beetroot and would probably never come off. 

Beauté Fever.
This lip stain is a gel formula rather than a liquid, and the technologies in play really show themselves off.  There is zero bleeding into those ageing lip lines I'm refusing to acknowledge (thanks Chanel Dragon), and it stays put.  Even after buttery things.  It doesn't dry out my lips too badly or flake off, and I want to own this forever.  No joke.  We need to sound the Holy Grail klaxon.

I bought my Beauté from Coco Beau, and it's also available over at Love Makeup (and probably other places too!)
 Have you ever tried Beauté? What's your current favourite red?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

New in for skin care - the 'mostly organic' edition.

It's been a bit of a skin care thing recently, that all started with Embryolisse.  Embryolisse is the culprit for me really getting into the whole skin care thing, and thinking there might be some weight to what people are saying in their sermonising about anti-ageing and proper ingredients that aren't cheap or derivatives of plastic.


I think I'm staging a small, and quiet (pamphlet campaign rather than a full on riot) rebellion.  My mum is stubborn, and doesn't believe in spending anything on skin care, which is why she gets a Chanel lipstick and an expensive skin care item every year for Christmas.  Actually, I'm starting to think she's kind of crafty...

Anyway - so my mum uses Nivea body cream on her face.  And never, ever uses sunscreen.

So - now you see the mini rebellion, and my new found interest in skin care.  I'm sorry mum - you're great and all - but you will never catch me smearing Nivea body cream into my face.  These four products here are some I've been enjoying for the past few weeks, my little co-conspirators in a mini skin care 'I'm not going to end up like my mother' rebellion:


1. Embryolisse Hydra-Mat Emulsion.

I've been looking for a moisturiser like this FOREVER.  I fell in love a couple of years ago with a moisturiser for oily skin from La Roche-Posay, because it was bloody good.  It was called Effaclar M, and kept me non-shiny for the whole day - until it stopped working, and then I found out the main ingredient was those pesky silicones - which aren't ideal for the main ingredient of a moisturiser.  While moving house I found a sachet of this while scrabbling madly for something to slather on, and fell in love and bought it two days later.  It performs brilliantly - keeps my oiliness at bay while hydrating my face.  It's a gel formula, lightweight and not sky-high in the smoothy-smoothy silicones I was trying to avoid.  Try this if you've got oily skin - and you can get it from Coco Beau.

2. Antipodes Hosanna Serum.*

I was invited to afternoon tea in London a few weeks back - and first of all, I need to preface this with CAKE. I'm naturally greedy, so if there's cake involved, I'll be in the front stuffing them in my pockets to take home afterwards.  Hosanna is a newly-launched serum from Antipodes, a Kiwi brand who are starting to make a bit of a splash.  It's water-based, so sinks into the skin beautifully, and has a powdery, slightly baby products sort of scent.  This is calming and soothing, and Antipodes have the science to back this up - it can stimulate the synthesis of Type I Collagen in the skin by up to 72%.  I can't claim that my skin is around 72% en-plumpened because that sort of thing is difficult to measure in my own face, but this is lovely, lightweight and has been hydrating without making me feel oily.

This contains their patented Vinanza grape (which was in their Apostle serum, reviewed here), plus mamaku black fern, which apparently is supposed to firm the skin.  I reaaaally like this.  A lot.  ThereIsaidit.

3. Antipodes Rejoice Light Daily Facial Cream.*

I love this packaging! I know that's superficial, but I love how it looks like it has come from an apothecary.  This is a great, light daily moisturiser that is full of nourishing ingredients for the skin.  I use this when my skin isn't feeling hydrated enough - such as when I've washed it twice in the morning because I went to the gym (hahaha, oh the gym) or something.  This contains avocado oil and manuka flower and smells sweet, slightly spicy and milky.  It is a thicker texture than the Embryolisse I've been double-teaming it with, and takes a little longer to sink in.

4. Organic Surge Daily Care Face Wash.*

This arrived a few weeks ago, and WE love it.  Yes, we.  Notice that? Kiwi is suddenly interested in skin care beyond gingerly applying his moisturiser with one fingertip in case he gets too much on.  This contains rose and geranium essential oils, along with aloe vera and glycerine.  Kiwi has used this everyday since it arrived, so unfortunately my bottle is looking a little empty! He loves it because it doesn't dry his skin out and has requested this be on the regular rotation (and that we phase out the Embryolisse soap-free face wash he used before).

I asked Kiwi if he had anything profound to say about the Organic Surge face wash, but he just said 'is niiiiice' in Borat accent, so I gave up.  My only down point on this is it smells like geraniums.  And roses.  Which together smell like Turkish Delight - bleeeeugh. I'm not a fan, but the product itself is lovely and the scent doesn't linger.  This is a great price at £5.19 too, so with the saving I'm making from Embryolisse, the Milky Bars are on me!

On a side note, Organic Surge have actually released a limited edition hand wash (which is here!) and are donating 100% (yep, one hundred) of the proceeds to the Archie Foundation, which is a children's charity, which is not something you see everyday!

As you can see I've been flitting around for the past month, but I've finally found a few things that I think might just stick - usually my skin care is very higgledy-piggledy and anything goes and then I complain a lot.  Which isn't happening now, because ACTUALLY my skin care rebellion is going quite well.

What are your current skin care favourites?

* PR samples.  All opinions are my own, and I'm always honest.  If you don't believe me - well... er. I can't do anything about it. So believe me.  You won't regret it!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

In which Illamasqua Generation Q is basically perfect.

The doorbell rang on Saturday morning, and I was expecting a bumper box of cat food - because that is my life now - waiting for the postman to deliver the cat food that my cats eat with very little opinion or waiting around to taste it before it's disappeared down their furry little gullets.

Actually, it wasn't even cat food.  It was a box from Illamasqua show-casing the products for their new collection, Generation Q.

I feel this was an improvement on cat food, but the cats didn't agree, particularly as they were waiting on some new toys that were coming too.  I tried to explain to them that blush is better than cat food, but Frank tried to eat my toes and Midna turned round so her bum was facing me, so I feel like our discussion was a lost cause.*

I remember fizzing with excitement when I came home from the launch campaign of Generation Q and telling you I had the warm fuzzies about Illamasqua's new, inclusive campaign that says you can wear glitter if you're 80 and still look incredible, because dreary mattes are for walls, and don't have to be on your face when you reach a certain age.

I told you then that I pretty much wanted everything.  That… hasn't gone away. At all.  Um.  We're all in danger.  Hold onto your bank accounts, screen the calls from your bank manager and hide the credit cards.  This could very well end up costing a lot.

Instead of my usual prose-laden sermon that whirls about from one subject to the next in unfeasibly long hyphenated metaphors, I'm going to let the products and photos do the talking, because this collection is beautifully seamless and doesn't need too much romanticised blahblah-ing on my part.  I'll click my own mute button for you, and just deliver the swatches for your ogle-eyed pleasure.

Precision Ink in Wisdom.


I received this way back when the collection was unveiled but got lost in a land of no internet and never got the opportunity to post about it.  I love this.  It's an antiqued gold liquid liner, packaged with a pointy felty tip thing (yep, that's exactly it - not vague at all).  When it catches the light, it's all starry and glimmery and beautiful.  It lasts all day and is perfectly opaque.  Recently I've been obsessed with pairing this with a red lip.

Intense Lipgloss in Boost.

LOL look at that expression.
I kind of feel the need to protest ever so slightly.  I don't think this is very intense - it really seems more like a cross between intense and the sheer lipgloss textures, and I did need to apply a fair amount.  It's a violet with a blue duo chrome to match the Underworld lipstick also in this collection, but actually it looks really great over Magnetism lipstick too. It's non-sticky and long-lasting and a favourite lipgloss formula.

Gleam compact highlighter in Aurora.


Illamasqua reformulated and repackaged an old product and basically made it better.  This is now Gleam, a compact highlighter, and Illamasqua have relaunched the shade as Aurora.  It's a beautiful pearlescent champagne shimmer in solid form, with no grittiness or greasiness.  It applies like a dream, and softly diffuses onto cheekbones.

Lipstick in Magnetism.


In my original post, I earmarked this for one of my picks for the collection, because scarlet-hued lips are just something I do.  This is something that made me squeeOMG when I saw it.  It's a beautiful raspberry colour, slightly muted and not too bright.  It is pigmented and creamy, and not drying at all.  I've been wearing this exclusively since it touched down, I LOVE it.

Powder blush in Sophie.


AAAAH *fangirls* I can't help it.  I'm hardwired to take an above-average enjoyment in blush.  This is just.  Just LOOK. LOOK AT IT.  Illamasqua listened when people asked for more blushes with shimmer in them, and they delivered Sophie.  It's a gilded coral - beautiful and bright and PIGMENTEDWHOA - be careful there - and and and.  I have too many things to say about this blush.  Some of them might be indecent.  It's smooth, applies effortlessly and is exactly how I expected.  Dreamy sigh.


Swatched here: Gleam compact highlighter in Aurora, powder blusher in Sophie, lipstick in Magnetism and Intense Lipgloss in Boost.
Generation Q goes on sale on September 6.


Have you got any picks from the new collection? I'm going to be needing those palettes…

* actually, this interlude of domestic bliss never happened.  But I do talk to my cats, and also make up stupid songs about them in my head.  Usually to the Spiderman theme tune.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Kittens and Tom Ford are a good combination.

What was that sound, anyway? Oh, just the sound of me sidling casually in, after a month of NOT BEING ABLE TO BLOG OMG.

We bought a house, of our very own.  Now we're poor and in a lot of debt to the bank.  We also got kittens.  What we did not get was the internet, for A MONTH. This alone may make the weaker among you hyperventilate a bit.  We did sort-of have internet access in the new home - it was just that in order to get it, you had to sit in front of the bathroom on the floor and wiggle the laptop around in mid-air until it managed to HARNESS THE POWER OF THE LOLCATS and connect to a public access WiFi hotspot.

Speaking of LOLCATS - may I present my own two little tinkers? As soon as I whipped my lightbox out today for taking some photos for the blog, they decided that they wanted to participate (seriously, who even knows of a cat who doesn't like boxes?!)  These little photobombing monsters have been keeping us very busy as of late, even though most of their day is spent asleep...

Midna - calico young lady who is getting increasingly crafty, and Frank, the brown and white tabby who sort of looks like Gizmo from Gremlins. And an owl. A cute cute owl.


So that's been my month.  Alone.  In the cold cold endless night of the land beyond the internet.  How have you all been?

Something a bit magical happened today, in parcel form.  My friend Aundrea over at Dancing with Disaster basically forced me kicking and screaming* into the world of Tom Ford lipsticks.  And candles.  Can you even COMPREHEND a more beautifulshinynew parcel of epic joy?  Probably not.

Aundrea and I did a little swap, except that she temporarily took leave of her senses and retaliated with this:


Yeah - that's right. NOT ONE BUT TWO.  Do you know what it's like to suddenly own two Tom Ford things in a row? It's like that kind of giddying running-around-with-your-shirt-over-your-head kind of thing, because they are seriously beautiful, and it was torture not being able to raspberry-smear the lipstick all over my lips while I took photos.


Neroli Portofino is zingy, wake-up kind of fresh.  Slightly soapy and citrusy and kicks you in the face a bit, and I might even need the Private Blend scent now, just to keep in a cupboard and sniff every so often. A bit like Gollum.  It's the perfect thing to sit in my (coughcough OUR) new home and burn warmly while the lights are low.  It has notes of bergamot, Sicilian lemon, mandarins and orange blossom and makes me smile.  Mmm, clean.


Cherry Lush is a boom-kapow lipstick.  It is an apologetically bright cherry red that reminds me instantly of Cherries in the Snow by Revlon, but it's a bit more  (remind me to swatch these side by side at some point - no seriously, remind me. I'm forgetful).  It's glossier and poutier and is more there-ier (yeah, I went there).  It's a moisturising shade with opaque colour and feels supple on the lips, and the packaging is kind of that luxe kind of chunky.  It kind of feels like it goes with the territory, and you'd feel a bit short-changed without its reassuring weightiness.  Oh, just get a bigger handbag or makeup bag.  Nobody uses clutches anymore anyway - because, just look:


I apologise for my slightly greasy mug, with the impending blush explosion on the cheeks and the shit hair - DON'TLOOKATME. Look at the colour of that bad boy.  One swipe, straight from the tube.  Sure, I could have used a brush, but I'm a modern** woman (isn't that how the excuse goes these days?!)

Am I megawatt super-obnoxiously happy with my first ever Tom Ford lipstick? Yes.  So many times yes on that one.

Have you ever tried anything from Tom Ford? What would you try if money weren't the awful running-out thing that it is?

* may or may not be true
** by modern, I may mean not-modern.  Or alternatively, 'lazy'.

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