Tag Archives: lipstick

My British Beauty Essentials – A Mini Shopping Spree

My British beauty essentials – a mini drugstore shopping spreeWhen I was back in the UK last month I made a beeline for Boots and Superdrug to stock up on some of my favourite British beauty essentials. Once upon a time I would have been thinking the reverse – daydreaming about drugstores and Sephora before any trip to the States. Now that I’m lucky enough to have them on my doorstep, I’ve realised that, actually, the UK has some pretty darn good brands that I’m missing out on over here.

Here are a few beauty bits and pieces that I picked up on ‘holiday’, along with a few copies of my beloved British ELLE magazine:

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets in Ole Flamingo and Hot Pepper

Mmm… liquid lipsticks, my make-up vice! I haven’t found Bourjois anywhere in the US (I think you can order it online but it seems to be double the price) so these babies were first on my list of bits to buy. I’ve heard great things about them and they don’t disappoint! I’ll definitely be picking up a couple more the next time I’m in the UK, so let me know your favourite shades.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical

Until an Ulta Beauty appeared in San Francisco two weeks ago, Batiste was hard to find, so I picked up my favourite scent when I was back in the UK. However, it now has competition as I also picked up a little travel-size…

Colab Dry Shampoo in New York

I’ve heard great things about this Dry Shampoo so I wanted to pick up a little can of the stuff when I was back in Blighty, to see how it compares to Batiste. I’ve heard that it doesn’t leave that irritating white residue like Batiste can, so I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Cool Medium

A bargain multi-tasking concealer that is perfect for under my eyes and any little blemishes. I do actually have a tube of the lightest shade, Fair, to work through, but I wanted to try shade no.2, Cool Medium, as despite my best efforts, I’ve developed a natural tan from living in California.

Sure mini deodorant

Americans don’t seem to be big on aerosol antiperspirants/deodorants, especially miniature ones, and I like to keep one of these dinky deodorants in my bag for trips to the gym and freshening up throughout the day, so I took advantage of a classic 3 for 2 offer in Boots – happy days!

Bourjois Healthy Balance powder in Light Beige

Another product that I’d heard great things about, and since I don’t have a face powder at the moment I thought I’d pick one of these up. I wasn’t expecting it to smell of anything but it has a delicious peachy scent and goes on to the skin so smoothly, which is ideal for warmer days when I don’t want to look super-shiny.

Original Source shower gel in Lime

I’m so unimpressed by the shower gel offerings in the drugstores over here, so I made sure to bring back a couple of bottles of Original Source goodness. The lime one is my favourite scent – there’s nothing quite like starting the day smelling like a packet of green Jelly Babies.

For our next visit I’ve got my eye on the Una Brennan Super Facialist range and restocking my Neal’s Yard Remedies stash – are there any other British beauty essentials you’d suggest I stock up on?

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

My Favourite Red Lipsticks for Every Occasion

my favourite red lip coloursA red lipstick (or lip crayon, lip pencil or liquid lipstick – let’s not discriminate here) is probably my favourite make-up item of choice. While it may not be as useful as concealer or as subtle as a good mascara, it has impact; meaning, history, and glamour. Wearing a red lip is a ‘look at me’ statement, though it can also look understated, depending on how you work it.

One of my favourite ways to wear a red lip is with bare skin and just a little bit of a brow touch-up – maybe with a layer of mascara, if I want to push the boat out.

While my choice of formula or colour undertones (blue, pink, orange) may sway from time to time, there are a few reds that I always go back to. Here are the five reds I reach for every time:

For subtlety: Revlon’s Lip Butter in Candy Apple

If I want to wear a red lip that’s a little more low-key and won’t require constant reapplying, I turn to this trusty Lip Butter. I wrote a full review here when I first bought it, but suffice to say that Candy Apple is perfect for when you want a subtle hint of colour that isn’t drying on the lips.

For staying power: Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red

A recent purchase for me, Sephora’s 01 lip stain is legendary and one of the best liquid lipsticks I’ve tried. Not only is it a beautiful true, vintage pin-up red, it also doesn’t budge once applied. Bonus points for the fact that it doesn’t feel like you’re even wearing anything on your lips. Oh, and unlike some lip stains, it has staying power but also comes off easily with make-up remover (I like MERUMAYA’s Bi-Phase Plus Eye Make-Up Remover for removing liquid lipstick).

For ‘look at me’ lips: MAC’s matte finish lipstick in Ruby Woo

Does this lipstick need any introduction? It’s a blue-toned red that just makes the day that little bit better. Yes it can be drying (due to the super matte formula) but if you prep your lips ahead of time this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. I like to apply two coats of this, blotting off the excess with a tissue between layers for extra staying power. Guaranteed to turn heads and garner compliments.

For an easy to wear red: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo

This liquid lipstick might look intimidating in the tube but trust me when I say it’s one of the easiest to wear reds I’ve ever tried. The colour is lighter and brighter than first impressions might suggest and the formula is soft and powdery, without feeling drying. I’ve tried several NYX Lip Creams and all of them do have a tendency to smudge easily, but it’s worth it for the intense colour and smooth application.

For fool-proof application: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

What is it that’s so satisfying about drawing on colour, particularly bold colour, with a lip crayon? The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils from Nars glide across the skin, pack a punch with pigmentation and are long lasting, too – what’s not to love? The shade Cruella is one of my favourites and is a deep, blood red shade that borders on burgundy. Perfect for nights out and for easy-peasy application.

Top 5 red lipsticksThose are some of my favourite red lipsticks – what are yours? I’m always looking to try new shades so let me know what I should try next!

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

A Peek Inside the Sephora Give Me More Lip Ultimate Lip Sampler

Sephora Give Me More Lip samplerSephora Give Me More Lip Sampler 2014Remember when I wrote about my little pre-Christmas trip to Sephora? As something of a lipstick addict, I couldn’t let the Sephora Give Me More Lip sampler pass me by – to me this is the ultimate beauty buffet, and lets not get started on how ridiculously cute the miniature lipsticks look.

It’s taken several weeks and quite a lot of make-up remover to road-test the 17 shades included in this set but I’ve just about done it, so here are some bite-sized reviews of Sephora’s favourite lip products…

Sephora Give Me More Lip Nude lip productsNudes

Too Faced La Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick in ‘Naked Dolly’ // Make Up Forever Waterproof Lipliner in 3C // Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Blush // bareMinerals Marvellous Moxie Lipstick in ‘Speak Your Mind’ // Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lipgloss in ‘Nude Vinyl’ 

First up, lets start with the basics of the bunch. I’m not big on nude lips as mine are quite pigmented naturally, and if I’m going to sacrifice eating or kissing then it’s got to be for an in-your-face red or bold pink, thank you very much. However there as some great brands in this category that I was itching to try.

I was immediately put off by Too Faced’s offering to the Nudes as it smells a bit like PlayDough. Unfortunately the colour is also way too pale for me and makes me look like an extra in Ferris Buller’s Day Off, so I won’t be getting much use out of this one.
Make Up Forever provide the only lip pencil in the set, however it’s a little too dark for me. Points for being smooth and not dragging on the lips though.
I’m not usually a fan of lipgloss but I have a set of Lip Glazes by Stila so I was intrigued by their Stay All Day Vinyl Lipgloss. Unfortunately this quite heavy and sticky, so I prefer to apply a layer then pat the excess off – it’s a subtler way to wear it.
By comparison, the Laura Mercier Lip Glace smells like sugary deliciousness (possibly butterscotch) and offers a clear wash of subtle pinky-nude colour which isn’t at all sticky – the ideal lipgloss formula, IMO.
Peppermint scent aside, bareMinerals Marvellous Moxie is definitely my favourite nude in this sampler. The colour leans towards the pink side of the nude spectrum, making it perfect for ‘my lips but better’ days.

Sephora Give Me More Lip Pink SamplersPinks

Benefit Posiebalm Tinted Lip Balm //Tarte LipSurgence Power Pigment in ‘Flush’ // Too Faced Melted Liquid Long Wear Lipstick in Fuchsia // Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in ‘Palomino’ 

Now we’re talking. Pink shades are so easy to wear and there is a wide range of hues within this category. There are some stunning shades in this small but perfectly formed colour family and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of each of them.

Benefit’s Posiebalm was the sheerest of the bunch, and also the smallest, with a teeny tiny amount of product inside. It’s a shame as it’s a gentle, hydrating balm, but then this kit is about sampling different products so perhaps the small size is understandable, it just seems like a waste of packaging.
The full-size product in Sephora’s lip sampler is Tarte’s LipSurgence Power Pigment in Flush. It’s another minty scented one (I’m I the only one that doesn’t like this kind of smell in a lip product?) that comes in a twist-up pencil. A raspberry shade that is great for daytime wear.
The surprise of this colour family was Too Faced’s Melted Liquid Lipstick. It’s a cool-toned long wear liquid lipstick in an eye-popping fuchsia shade. I love the colour but I was expecting it to have a bit more staying power like the matte liquid lipsticks I’ve sampled in the past – I wouldn’t call it long wearing but the colour is stunning.
Bite’s cream lipstick in ‘Palomino’ is another fuchsia shade that applies like a dream. It’s the boldest of the bunch which makes it more of an evening shade for me.

Sephora Give Me More Lip berry shadesBerries

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in ‘Moody’ // Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick in ‘Menace’ // Fresh Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment // Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in ‘Black Dahlia’ 

Just like the Pinks, there is a balm, lipstick, liquid lipstick and crayon formula in the selection of berry shades on offer in this set. I’m normally a pink or red kind of gal all year round, but I’m looking forward to making the most of these shades before winter disappears.

Combine sugar and lemons and you have the scent of Fresh’s dinky berry tinted lip balm. it offers the sheerest hint of colour and the screw top container means it’s ideal handbag material (unlike the lip crayons that manage to self-open and melt all over my camera…)
The second Tarte product in this sampler is a mini LipSurgence lip tint in a reddish, almost wine-coloured shade. A nice colour but it didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor for me.
OCC’s Black Dahlia is a shade I would never normally give a second glance as it looks so dark in the tube, but it’s stunning. Very purple, very vampy and surprisingly matte, given how it applies as a watery liquid.
I think Buxom’s offering might just be my favourite of the berries – it’s merlot distilled in lipstick form. Very creamy, very comfortable to wear and an excellent way to dip a toe into the berry trend.

Sephora Give Me More Lip Set redsReds

Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in ‘Red Amour’ // Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in ‘Outlaw’ // Sephora Rouge Infusion in 10 // Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in ‘Icon’

Finally we have my favourite hue of the bunch. I think a slick of red on the lips can completely change a whole look and, as Mad Men-brainwashed as it sounds, I always feel like I could conquer the world when I wear red. Staying power was my biggest concern with this category because as much as I like a bold lip, there is nothing worse that constantly having to reapply it.

Hourglass kicked off this category with a dinky Opaque Rouge. In my quest to find the perfect long wear liquid lipstick I’ve been eager to try this for a while. The deep, plumy red shade is so flattering, but the only downside is the flimsy doe foot applicator – it feels like it could snap and has to be yanked out of the tube.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Sephora’s own line Rouge Infusion lip stain, as I’ve only ever tried their Cream Lip Stain before. Think Kirsten Dunst circa Interview with the Vampire and surprisingly long-lasting.
Laura Mercier’s second product in this set is a thing of red beauty – despite it’s small stature it doesn’t feel like a miniature at all, and the formula is creamy and not at all drying.
Completing the reds is Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – another product I’d heard great things about. ‘Outlaw’ is a bright red that demands attention and will not budge once applied, even surviving several slices of pizza, which makes it a big thumbs up from me.

There you have it, a bite-size rundown of Sephora’s Give Me More Lip Ultimate Lip Sampler! Have you tried any of the lip products in this set? Let me know your favourites in the comments below…

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple

Revlon Lip Butter in Candy AppleI know, I know, you’ve seen swatches of Revlon’s Lip Butters, you’re positively bored of them cropping up in beauty ‘favourites’ posts and you probably own a shade or two yourself.

The hype surrounding these part-balm, part-lipstick hybrids was off the charts when they launched in 2012, but not even Esteé and her infectious love for them could persuade me to give Lip Butters a try. The quilted, opaque packaging came in strong shades that I found really off-putting – the sugary pink colours in particular looked a bit cheap and too intense for the sheer ‘buttery’ shine that was promised.

But then one day after work I found myself without a pot of Rosy Vaseline or Rimmel Colour Rush Balm, and dangerously close to Superdrug, so I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about. Parting with £7.99, I chose the shade Candy Apple, a bright, slightly orange toned red.

Despite the claim that this is a sheer product, I found Candy Apple to be vibrant, creamy and intense shade – the photo below perhaps doesn’t quite do it justice. Obviously I can’t speak for the other Butters as I haven’t tried them, but I was pleasantly surprised at the punch Candy Apple packs, so much so that I repurchased it when it was on offer a few weeks ago (£5 in Superdrug – go, go, go!). My only issue is that the bullet is so soft that the casing can get quite mucky quite quickly, but that’s perhaps to be expected with this kind of formula.

Revlon Lip Butter in Candy AppleHave you tried any of Revlon’s Lip Butters yet? What’s your favourite shade?

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook

Topshop Make Up: Lips Lipstick in Brighton Rock review

Topshop Make Up Lips packaging

Since losing my lipstick virginity at the MAC counter in Debenhams last year, I’ve been looking to feed my growing habit for make-up. I’m no make-up junkie and prefer a look that requires minimal effort, so the notion that one slick of lipstick can transform my appearance appeals to me.

Despite the press hype surrounding Topshop’s Make Up launch back in 2010, I’ve been reluctant to try it. Sure, the packaging is quirky and easy on the eye, and the reviews from bloggers have been promising, but something was holding me back. Make-up is a new venture for the brand, and I was a tad suspicious that the results would be all talk, no walk.

When I was in London a couple of weeks ago, curiosity got the better of me and while in Topshop’s Oxford Street store, I decided to throw caution to the wind. After much consideration (and zero help from staff, despite how quiet it was on the shopfloor) I walked away with Brighton Rock, a semi-matte lipstick in a bright shade of coral, mixed with a dash of fuchsia.

It’s a lot brighter than my MAC lipstick (Speak Louder, in case you’re wondering) so I’d be more inclined to wear it for a night out, or paired with just a slick of mascara during the day. I love the matte finish BUT – and I think this would be problematic (for me) with any matte lipstick – I did find it very drying. That dryness is presumably the tradeoff you make for having a matte finish, however if you can recommend any matte lipsticks that don’t have the same effect then let me know by commenting below.

At £8 I think this lipstick is good value for money, though I feel I’d need to use a moisturising lip balm underneath if I were to wear this on a daily basis. It seems as if the lipstick is a different colour in each of my photos, so as with any review I’d recommend trying it out yourself before committing to buying, but it is a wonderfully youthful colour and the perfect weekend treat!

Have you tried any products from Topshop’s Make Up range? Or do you have a brand of lipstick you swear by?

Topshop Make Up: Lips in Brighton Rock
Topshop Make Up: I’m a sucker for simple packaging!
Topshop lipstick in Brighton Rock
Topshop lipstick in Brighton Rock
Brighton Rock is a warm, bright pink shade
Brighton Rock is a warm, bright pink shade