Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Permanent Taupe

Remember when these came out and where a huge thing in beauty-blogger-land? It feels like only yesterday, yet these pictures have been sitting on my laptop for months, and even then I was a little late to the party!
Maybelline Color Tattoos were originally hailed as the drugstore dupe for MAC's paint pots, which to this day are still my favourite way of priming my eye lids, making any shadow applied over the top last all day long.

The original colour range was very limited, but nowadays there are 17 shades to choose from (although I believe that 6 of those are currently unavailable in the UK), ranging from muted neutrals to shimmery brights. Even though it's been a while since their release, I still find a majority of colours are pretty much permanently sold out. (That, or perhaps my local drugstores are just really rubbish at restocking.)

One thing I really, really like about these is the packaging, which looks far more expensive than their £4.99 price tag. The glass jar presents itself very nicely and I like the writing at the bottom. The lid sits nice and secure and the product inside is easily accessible.

While I can see the similarities between Color Tattoos and MAC paint pots in the way they translate from cream to powder on the eye lids, I did find that the formula of these is a lot firmer and less creamy, making it a touch more difficult to blend out. Once they're on, however, they really do stay on. I'm not sure if they live up to their 24hr claim, as I don't wear make-up that long (does anyone?), but they certainly last all day on the lids and work even better if you blend a powder eye shadow over the top.

Another way in which these are inferior to their MAC counterparts is the way the colour goes on quite patchy, as you can see in the swatch above. From looking around other blogs I found that this seems to be an issue only with the matte shades, however, with Permanent Taupe being particularly bad. Overall, the colour looks a lot less flattering on the lids than I imagined. I'm sure there are lots of people who can really pull this one off well, but on me it just looks like the very wrong end of 90s heroin chic.

So while I'm not the biggest fan of this particular colour and insist that they're not quite as good as MAC Paint Pots, I still think that this is a great little product and I can definitely see myself picking up a different shade soon - the rose gold one in particular looks absolutely stunning!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: Boots Botanics Hydrating Eye Cream

When it comes to eye creams I'm always excited when I can find a decent budget cream that isn't a rollerball. I don't know what it is with me and roll-on eye creams, but we just don't seem to get on. My last one was fine for two or three weeks and then just one day decided to basically turn into what felt like chilli juice on my eye balls.

I picked up this one from Boots' own Botanics range as it came recommended by Fleur de Force and I haven't been disappointed. I like that it's 80% organic, which might not be as good as 100% organic, but it's still not bad at all. The thin nozzle makes dispensing the right amount a breeze and is also a lot more hygienic than a pot. The only thing that annoys me a little about the packaging is that the long, slim tube kept getting knocked over on my shelf, but I suppose that's just me being a little OCD here...

Texture wise, this sits firmly in the cream end of the spectrum. While it doesn't give that nice cooling, tightening sensation that you get from more gel like products, it does sink in quickly and doesn't leave the undereye area feeling greasy at all. In fact, you could apply make-up pretty much straight over the top without it sliding about too much at all.

I always find it extremely difficult to rate eye creams on efficiency. Did my eyes seem less puffy? Did my dark circles become less, erm... dark? Did it delay the onset of wrinkles around my eye area? Who knows. What I know, however, is that this was a pleasure to use and it's one that I'd certainly consider repurchasing.

Boots Botanics Hydrating Eye Cream retails at £8.99 for 15ml.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Monthly Favourites: July 2014

1) Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask

Wow, what a mouthful.... The interesting thing about this mask is that I didn't really get on with it at first. After using it for the first time I woke up the next morning with the biggest. spot. ever. The really painful kind that takes half a ton of concealer to make it look slightly less angry. I almost decided to pass up on the mask afterwards, but somehow I persevered and now I absolutely love it. I guess it's just kind of proof that it really does draw out impurities and now after using it regularly once a week it's keeping my skin clean, but still nicely moisturised. I don't want to be without it anymore!

2) Bourjois Cream Blush in 02 Healthy Glow

I already have this in another shade, but this one is a very welcome addition to my collection. It's a peachy apricot shade which might look a tad orange against my normally pale skin, but in the summer it just adds the most beautiful natural glow to tanned skin. The formula is absolutely amazing and blends out to look insanely natural and also lasts pretty much all day. All I need to do now is get my hands on the remaining two shades, as well as the two new cream bronzers!

3) The Body Shop Papaya Body Butter

There used to be a time where I wouldn't use any other lotion or butter on my body apart from various Body Shop variations. Then I got bored and it turns out I hadn't bought another one for years! What else can I say other than: It's good to have it back. I love the way the smooth, buttery texture allows it to just sink straight into my skin and leave it soft and hydrated. Not to mention the smell is amazing and lasts for ages as well. Maybe not so great if you don't want your lotions to clash with your perfume, but personally, I'm quite happy to smell of delicious papayas all day.

4) Rimmel Instant Tan BB Skin Perfector

Never in a million years did I think my favourites would ever feature a fake tan - it might be an odd thing to say as a beauty blogger, but I'm absolutely terrified of false tan! Then I got this in my Glamour Latest In Beauty box and thought that as it's a wash-off tan, I might as well give it a go. Turns out it's an absolute breeze to use, doesn't leave skin at all patchy and offers a very natural result that doesn't look orange at all. It's the perfect little pick me up on days where I want to wear skirts or shorts and my legs are just a bit too pasty. A great product for every tan-o-phobe like me out there.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Review: Nivea Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover

I can't even tell you how long it's been since I last used a dual-phase make-up remover. Let's just say it's been a long, long time.
I tend to avoid oil-based make-up removers, as I find that they always sting my eyes. Balms are fine, micellars work wonderfully, but these dual action types can swing either way from my personal experience. That's probably why I've avoided them for so long.

Funnily enough I really like the way they look in the bottle. I know that it's really the last thing I should be judging a beauty product on, but I really enjoy the way there are two different colours in the same bottle. And shaking it up is always oddly satisfying as well. Here's a shot of the Nivea make-up remover in all of its shaken up glory.

Now, onto the good news: This didn't sting my eyes. Not at all, actually. As for how efficiently it removed my make-up, there is room for improvement, especially considering it is half oil-based, but it's also not the worst I've ever used. The one thing that really bugged me about it, though, is just how quickly I got through this bottle. It must have lasted no longer than two or maybe three weeks, whereas regular make-up removers usually last me for a few months!

I'm not sure I'll be buying a dual-phase make-up remover again after this. It just seems that now that there are lots of really rather excellent micellars on the market, these seem a bit old-fashioned and gimmicky. You could have the same product, just already shaken up for you and a lot more effective for pretty much the same price. What do you think? Do you still use two-phase make-up removers?

A bottle of Nivea Double Effect Eye Make-up Remover will set you back £3.59.

Review: Pro:Voke Touch of Silver Twice A Week Brightening Shampoo

I can't remember what made me pick this shampoo up originally. It's far removed from the kind of products I usually buy: A brand I've never heard of and packaging that's anything but glamorous. That red "As seen on TV" label alone is enough to send me running for the hills. I think this was literally the only purple shampoo I could find in the shop at the time and I probably thought something like "Well, how bad can it be?"

I haven't looked back since and not purchased any other purple shampoo either. All those of you with bleached blonde hair will know how easily it can get a brassy, yellow undertone and how important it is to regularly use purple shampoo to keep your colour looking natural. I've tried quite a few so far, including the one by John Frieda (rubbish), Bleach London (decent) and Lee Stafford (also pretty decent), but this one beats them all hands down. And the best bit? Out of all of them this is also the cheapest and the easiest to get, as it's stocked in most big supermarkets!

As you can see from the picture above, this really has some deep, purple pigment in it, which means that you can really see the transformation in your hair straight away. Depending on the levels of brassiness in your hair you can leave it on a bit longer than the recommended five minutes, but personally I find it to be just enough time. I also tend to use it just once a week rather than twice, unless my hair is looking particularly worse for wear. This stuff is potent!

What really sets it apart from all the other brands, however, is that it doesn't only tint, it also makes my hair feel incredibly soft and smooth every time I use it. I'm not sure if it's the shampoo that's so conditioning, or if it somehow makes my conditioner work better, but either way, the results are really rather spectacular. I think I'm on my fourth bottle now and I can't see myself ever straying from this product again. This is an absolute must have for bleached blondes like me!

This little gem will set you back a mere £3.09 for a 150ml bottle.