Saturday, 25 May 2013

REVIEW - Best eyeshadow primers for oily lids

Hi there. Hope you're all enjoying your weekend. I am personally jealous of the entire country right now, as i'm stuck in the house with the worst bronchitis I have ever experienced. I have a headache, my whole body hurts and i'm wheezing constantly and going hot and cold. Nurse! Bring tinctures!

On the flipside it means I can do a review mega post of the many many eyeshadow primers I have used in my time. I have MEGA oily ultra hooded lids, which means when my eyes are open you can see virtually no eyelid, which, in turn means if I haven't primed I will get transference and smudging everywhere, as well as my eyeshadow moving and fading like a mofo. I cannot survive without primer, I JUST CANNOT!

So lets get going, first, with the most obvious of all the eyeshadow primers...

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden

So what are the claims?

"Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is Urban Decay’s bestselling, world famous eye makeup primer in a brand new, easy to use squeezy tube.
Get vibrant, crease-free colour that lasts over 24 hours with these legendary primers. Coveted by makeup artists and makeup junkies alike, Eyeshadow Primer Potion enhances your existing eye shadows – once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to live without it!"
Well, this is a toughie for me, because this is universally applauded as the BEST THING EVER by EVERYONE, but sadly it's not the best one i've used by far. There are great things about it. As you can see, this isn't the original version, but the tinted version, and for the purpose of evening out lids and giving you a nice base to apply shadow too, it's totally awesome, and saves you having to apply a nude eyeshadow on top. It also helps the colour of your eyeshadow appear more vibrant, 
On the downside, it only keeps eyeshadow uncreased and bright on my lids for about four hours, and I tend to need it to last a lot longer. If this is being used for a normal work day though, i'd say it'll do the trick and then some. 
This is available from department store stockists and stand alone boutiques across the country, or you can pick it up online for the price of £15 here at Beauty Bay

Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer

So this is a different type of product, or at least, it is dressed as one, lets see what they say.....

"This dual-action power primer works 360° around the eyes to make concealers AND eyeshadows STAY PUT. Concealers don’t crease, eyeshadows stay vibrant and true…you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Comes in a neutral nude shade that is universally flattering and a custom airless pump that is sooo easy to use - just a dab'll do ya! Sodium Hyaluronate hydrates and fills in fine lines. Vitamins C & E help fight signs of aging."
The idea of using eyeshadow primer under the eye isn't actually a new one, i've been using various ones under my eyes for years, but this is the first one i've seen on the market that actually shows people that it's an option for them to use it for this pretty wonderful method. For more info on how to do this see the wonderful Gossmakeupartist below
How to stop your concealer creasing - Goss Make Up Artist - You Tube

The thing about this primer is, for an eyeshadow primer, I don't actually find it 'that' great, it doesn't keep things vibrant for more than four hours and there is significant creasing in that time. Also, being picky, the amount of product it spurts out is very hard to control and for that price, you want to be keeping every ml you can safe! It's other purpose, however, is something it DOES awesomely at, and it is light and airy enough to place under corrector and concealer to keep it locked down on there without it creasing and making you look scary and ancient. 

This is available again, at all department stores and stand alone Benefit boutiques, as well as online. Find it here at John Lewis for £20.50

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Lets have the blurb then kids...

"What It Is: 
Your full coverage insurance policy against all fading, creasing and smudging. Our skin-soothing formula evens out skin tone and smoothes fine lines to create a perfect canvas for shadows. Color is intensified and locked down until you take it off. 

More To Love: 
  • Unique Binders: Volatiles lock down eye shadow pigments for amazingly long wear. 
  • Versatility: Use with powder or cream eye shadow products. 
  • Fights Fading: Anti-creasing formula holds eye products in place by securing a barrier between the oils of your skin and your makeup. 
  • Concentrated: The size of a rain drop covers the entire lid."

This is another of the MEGA HYPE eyeshadow primers, and one that I made a point of scouring shops high and low for because I thought it was going to be a life changer. Firstly, the blurb, it's winning me over right now, even though I have actually used it and it's not changed my life much at all. So lets answer its claims one by one - 

Unique Binders - It does make eyeshadow last longer, this is indeed true, but it's not as vibrant as other primers results, and it went patchy on me after a few hours. 
Versatility - Yeah, well, you can't really argue with that, but most people do use cream shadows as primers anyway, so i'm not sure why this is a good feature.
Fights Fading - Well, it does for a bit, given that my eyelids could fade anything within twenty minutes, so three or so hours will do for me, but I do get creasing and fading and my eyelid isn't evened out particularly
Concentrated - Yeah, it is, but more of these things are so...y'know, shrug.

So again, it doesn't actually achieve on my mega oily lids what it should. If you don't have mega oily hooded lids this could probably do the trick totally, but for me, it was a bit of a fail given what I needed from it.

To purchase, you can pop into a flagship Boots store, or go to good old ASOS here and get it for £17.00

Lime Crime Eyeshadow Helper


"Specifically formulated to withstand heat, moisture and oily eyelids.  Intensifies eye shadow colour, is moisture resistant and prevents creasing.  apply thinly with fingertip, remove using a waterproof eye makeup remover."

Short and sweet! So these claims are ones that get me VERY excited. Waterproof is something that makes me excited, as does the word 'Intensify'. So does it perform???

Kind of! Not totally. It's loved by many many make up addicts, and I do love it myself, and it's cheaper and good value, but it's not quite the dream it claims to be, for me anyway.

It does keep eyeshadow on, it does make it water resistant, and it does make colour pop. However it does also crease, and it can stay sticky for a long time, and despite Lime Crime instructing you to put your eyeshadow on it whilst it's wet, but when i've tried that i've ended up with messy brushes and creases everywhere, and also, my eyelids sticking to my browbone.

Thats not to say this isn't a good product. It is. I know Lime Crime have had much controversy surrounding the owner of the company, but frankly, a good product is a good product, especially when it's cheaper! (I sound so soulless, I generally am not, but I think mistakes in life can be made and I REALLY like their lipstick). 

If you'd like to line the pockets of Lime Crime, you can find this product on Love Make Up here for £13

Nars Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Go on at us about stuff....

    "No smudging, creasing or caking. This lightweight eye primer is the insider trick of the trade, creating a seamless canvas that keeps cream and powder color looking brilliant, fresh and just-applied all day long. A polymer and mineral-powder blend establishes a firm grip on color ensuring hours and hours of gorgeous wear. Fortified with a special deep-sea extract and an antioxidant rice extract, the Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base dries on contact and keeps the delicate eyelid smooth and prepared for color application."

    You want results??? THIS IS THE GUY. Seriously, nothing I have EVER used comes close to the results that this gives me. I am on my third tube and I love it so much. It makes colour vibrant as it should be, it does not crease, it does not budge, and it does not fade! You can splash your face with water and it'll stick. It really is THAT awesome. 

    MUA Pro Base Eye Primer

    What's up MUA? 

    "If you’ve never used an Eye Primer before, now is the time to invest. Basically, it smoothes the eye lid ready for eye shadow to be applied. It also creates a base, helping the eye shadow last all night long - no more creases! You can sleep all day and party all night with the help of the Eye Primer from MUA, just pop it on the top of your eye lid, pat it in gently and apply your eye shadow directly on top of it."

    To finish off i've gone with something for you girls on a budget out there who cannot afford to be spending the best part of twenty quid on keeping your eyeshadow on. MUA is a brand I adore, they give you options for an amazingly cheap price, and they're all pretty effective, and what more could you ask for really?? NOT A LOT.
    Does this work? Yeah, it does. It's not impeccable, it doesn't keep eyeshadow crease free ALL day, but for a good part of the day, around the same amount as the benefit primer does, and it gives you a nice smooth base to work with as long as you let your eye dry down before you apply the make up, otherwise you end up with creases. It does the trick though, and the best bit? See below...

    You can purchase this Pro Base Eye Primer for the CRACKING price of £2.50 from any Superdrug, or direct from MUA's website HERE

    Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed my primer run down. Please feel free to give feedback if you think i've been wrong! 

    Friday, 24 May 2013

    NEW! - Fudge Urban Hair Chalk

    Fudge Urban Hair Chalk

    If anyone reads this blog, they might know my hair is blue and pink. They might also know that it's odd that EVERYONE seems to have stupid hair like me now, because I have had stupid hair for about seven years. It started originally when I was 12 and used to go to High St Kensington Market (RIP) and by all sorts of stupid dye because I wanted to look like Mikki from Lush who was my total girl crush. SHE'S SO FIT.

    Mykki Berenyi 3rd from left. FITNESS.

    Anyway, fit girls aside, up top are the new hair chalks from Fudge Urban, the brand exclusively stocked in Superdrug. They basically work exactly the same as any of the other hair chalks that have been on the market in the last six months/year. Whack them on, run your straighteners over them and wallop, some non committal hair colour until your wash your locks! Unlike me, you won't end up with sodding BALD patches too. This would have been a great thing had it existed when I was a kid, I mean, who remembers the uselessness of hair mascara!! I just wanted to have good hair so i'd dye it every colour under the sun and would be marched into the school showers and told to scrub my hair till it came out. Of course i'd tell them to eff off. I got expelled from a few schools obviously....

    Anyway, this will be released in the next couple of weeks. If you're looking for after hours or weekend colours without annoying your boss/mum/pets, dive in! 

    Thursday, 23 May 2013

    Being Pale - Objects that save our souls pt 3 - More pale foundation swatches

    Another instalment in the series of posts regarding the highs and lows of finding a foundation to suit our pallid tones. You can find the first two parts here, and here. So lets not bugger about, you want swatches, I want to GIVE you swatches, so lets carry on with our swatchorama!

    The above is a collection of low to medium coverage products, Chantecaille is pretty matte finish for a tinted moisturiser, whilst Kiehls gives a nice amount of correction to skin whilst being able to see your actual skin, with a mega high SPF, and is water resistant, which is also the case for the MUFE foundation, which is also, although pretty sheer,  MEGA buildable and with no SPF, just in case you want to look glowy in photos without looking ghostly. 

    These are all Kevyn Aucoin foundations, and the liquid airbrush gives a medium coverage, which is buildable, and has no SPF. It's suited to an oily/combo skin. The Sensual Skin Enhancer is mega insanely high coverage and gives a beautiful finish, with no SPF, and gives you a nice sheen, but you have to prep and powder or you'll be left swimming in oil if you're that way inclined. 

    The GA foundation gives fantastic coverage, but it doesn't last hours sadly. You look poreless and perfected for three or so hours though. Lancome Teint Visionnaire, be WARNED LANCOME FANS, this runs much darker than their other 005 foundations, but it's a great finish, really luminous. Finally this pinky white foundation is the By Terry luminising foundation brush and it's pretty great. I would say it's for someone with good skin, BUT if you have a good concealer, it can work wonders even if, like me, you're a blotchy nightmare, and it does last quite a while, although you have to be careful around the nose area, as it can get a little cakey. 

    Monday, 6 May 2013

    Review - Philosophy - The Microdelivery Peel

    You know something, I hate TK Maxx, or TJ Maxx as it's called outside the UK. Whenever I see their adverts they make it seem like a world of wonderment, every corner filled with Dolce and Gabanna, Antoni and Alison, Chloe and whatever else is your high end clothing fantasy, and it can all be yours for £20.00 and you will still have enough change to get the bus home. The reality is very different, and it's basically an indoor jumble sale, an utter mess, and I personally cannot bear it. Despite this, I have actually picked up some great stuff in TK Maxx's now and then, but I find the shopping experience so depressing i'd much rather sit with a cup of tea and look at ebay for some spoilt housewife to start offloading her Louboutins en masse. Who knows, it could happen!? The one upside to the place however is the toiletries section. I have picked up all sorts of gems over the past year, including Joico, Sebastian, Decleor, Fekkai.....and most recently, an amazing gift pack of Philosophy goodness. See below.

    Philosophy - The Care Package - Xmas 2012 unsold stock courtesy of TK Maxx

    If you can read that price tag, I got it for exactly half price. That means I got six products for the price of two. BARGAIN. I had actually been on the testing panel before for Philosophy, so I knew I liked most of the products in this pack anyway, so it seemed a no brainer to treat myself to it, especially when I saw it contained the magnificent Microdelivery Peel, of which I am currently running low of the free one they sent me whilst on the testing panel. 

    Shall I review it for you? Yes I on girls.

    So what do they say about this guy, and does he live up to their claims???

    "a two-step, in-home peel that resurfaces and rejuvenates sun-damaged, hyperpigmented and ageing skin. the kit includes vitamin c/peptide crystals and lactic/salicylic acid activating gel.
    features & benefits
    • smoothes and resurfaces rough texture
    • helps minimise the look of fine lines
    • helps brighten and even skin tone"

    Not a huge range of babble, which I actually kind of like sometimes. I get sick of the made up jargon and ridiculous claims that some companies make (what the hell is a Pentapetide anyway Olay? EXPLAIN NOW!). I just want to know whats in it, what it'll do and whether it'll make me like my face more. If it's 'it won't burn your skin off' and 'yes you'll like your face more' then i'm in, if it's not a ridiculous price that is. 

    So you ask, nay scream, DOES IT DO WHAT IT SAYS?

    Well yes it does. After my very first use of this, my skin was clearer, and some smaller blemishes had nigh on disappeared! My skin was smooth, the pores looked a little tighter, my face looked brighter and perkier, and my moisturiser soaked in easily. As an extra bonus my make up glid onto my face easily and settled smoothly, all in all, a really positive experience!

    The only thing I would say is don't use it more than it says to, because your face will get sore, as it's obviously a very abrasive product. I mean, you don't need to resurface your face too much, because you've only got one surface, so to speak! I highly recommend this if you suffer from uneven skin tone, or rough skin that you need sloughed off, this'll do the trick!

    If you fancy diving in to a put of orangey rough vitamin c to make your face feel lovely, it's for the rather expensive, but worth it, price of £59 direct from Philosphy online. 

    Sunday, 5 May 2013

    Faking do you feel about it?

    When I was younger I really didn't realise how lucky I was. I was virtually always a size 8, my skin barely needed coverage, and if I was needing to feel confident I shoved on a bit of eyeliner and mascara and wallop, I felt pretty. However, as the years have gone by, and me now in my thirties, and being, essentially, lazy, with a rather healthy appetite for bad food and booze, and plus not having being blessed aesthetically, facially, or proportion wise (my body is the length of someone of pushing 6ft tall, but I am 5ft 6 and my legs are 27 inches long. IMAGINE?!) I have to rely on props, hence my lust for make up, to make me feel able to present myself to the human race.

    One thing though, I have always, always had no interest in, or any idea about faking it. I have been known to cry out in fear and confusion at how Rihanna would have a short red crop one day, and long blonde hair the next. I didn't actually know that many women of colour would get a weave or extensions. I just thought they were REALLY good with straightening irons and conditioning!

    Then comes the tans. The deep, golden tans that everyone seemed to be obsessive about having. Where did these tans happen? What was this madness on 'Snog Marry Avoid' (vid below for the uninitiated)  where ladies were rubbing themselves with what looked like childrens washcloths full of brown muck filled me with confusion. How was all this going on and i'd never met, talked about, or seen it in my entire life!?

    So, one day I was in brighton, in the blazing sun with no sunscreen and got horrifically burnt. I sent the guy I was with into the local garage to get me some aftersun and I slathered it thickly on my poor burnt legs. What I didn't realise is this wasn't actually aftersun, it was gradual tan in medium/dark (if you're not aware, i'm so pale I'm not sure I register as a colour at all). The next day my calves were a filthy orangey mess, patchy and blotchy, and I realised in horror what had happened. I also realised that it was in the middle of a baking hot summer, and I was expected to be wearing a dress that very evening. I doused more of the stuff on and hoped for the best.....and bizarrely, that evening, whilst in a summer dress and louboutin rip off wedges, I was complimented on how I looked nice with "a bit of colour on me". It did actually help my confidence a little! So, where did this leave me, given my hatred of fakery?

    Well, a bit ashamed, and hiding a bottle of Xen gradual tan in the cupboard whilst pretending that despite the fact I barely go outside in the sun, I had somehow 'caught it'. Well done me!

    Circle lens example, courtesy of Dolluxe

    And then there's this, the circle lens thing. If you're not aware of this trend, it's been happening for years in Japan, and is basically borne out of a desire for girls to look at child like, or cartoon like as humanly possible, thus enlarging the iris to an unnatural size to create this effect, sometimes with a vivid colour. I bought these last year as I was being a Ganguro Gal for halloween (if i've got the terminology wrong there, don't hate me, i'm not an expert of Japanese street fashion I just have a fascination with it). Anyway, I bought them, and I realised I felt much more confident with these bright big blue eyes, so now, I wear them constantly. It means I wear less make up to feel like a human, and can get away with mascara, foundation, blusher and lipstick, whereas before i'd go stir crazy on massive Alice Glass esque smoky eyes. I realised, another bit of fakery was boosting me....was it such a bad thing?

    Alice Glass, looking awesome, always.

    And hair, due to the fact I dye it blue and pink, starting falling out an inch from the root. Brilliant. I'd always hated girls that got extensions, considered it vain and cheating. Guess what though, I ended up buying some clip in ones, dying them pink and blue and now I can't do my thing without clipping those bad boys in. Why? Well, again, it makes me feel a bit better about myself. But does that mean i've become everything I once hated? Maybe, but when I was hating the fakery, the poster girls for this stuff was Katie Price and Chantelle Houghton, girls who seem to make money from appealing to a males base instincts and being very very stupid indeed. Am I now a slave to shallow ways?!, i'm not, because I realised this. In this world, people ARE very concerned with looks for a myriad of reasons. We are constantly harangued with images of stunning, flawless women, expensive clothes, salubrious lifestyles and being told constantly that we can do stuff to achieve this. I am not fooled by it all, but there are a lot of people out there whose lives are made a lot sunnier by having the LUCK, and nothing else other than luck, of having two parents whose genetic make up being mixed together made them one good looking bastard. Am I bitter? Well, a bit yeah, who wouldn't want to earn millions and be applauded for basically just being born and being able to walk and talk at the same time if commanded to? Certainly seems preferable to working as a cleaner or studying your arse off for years to end up waiting tables. 

    Leslie Ash, post botched lip and face filler

    But where would I draw the line? Well, my opinions on plastic surgery have in fact softened. Firstly I would LOVE to get my teeth done, as they do make me ashamed to smile as they're yellow due to a childhood medication that was withdrawn, and crooked due to my wisdom teeth. Also, there have been times that I have cried out for liposuction and a nose job. 

    Then I remember stories like poor Leslie Ash (pictured above) who had always been a fox, from the first time I saw her in the amazing film Quadrophenia shagging Paul Daniels in an alley, to her being the rather perky,delicious girl next door in 90's sitcom Men Behaving Badly. Actually, nearly all her roles had been based on her youthful good looks. It wasn't unthinkable that this level of pressure had lead her to have her face disfigured, and subsequently mocked and ridiculed by the tabloid press. The whole attitude of the press, even when pitifully disguised in rags like Heat, is vicious when attacking people for getting fat, thin or older. Things that happen to humans, the cruelest being mocking age, which no human can fight, making it feel like a disease. I mean, it's bad enough having to accept we'll all sag to the point that our jowls will move independent of our faces. We don't need constant pictures of Joanna Lumley to remind us how unlucky we are in relation to her....

    Katie Price. Shhhhh now Katie, we've all heard, seen, tutted enough.

    What was I rambling about? Oh yeah, surgery. I wouldn't do it. I made this decision about six years ago when I had a cyst the size of a human head in my pelvis. I had a six hour operation to remove the thing and the recovery, for a relatively benign operation, took three months of recovery before I could even walk like I hadn't been beaten in the stomach with a baseball bat. It was terrifying seeing the results of trauma that your body goes through when operated on. The idea that people do that for vanity reasons, basically risk death through the million ways you can die through an operation, scares the knickers right off my bottom. No ta, i'll just have to put up with my crippling confidence issues instead, because lets face it, those confidence issues can't actually physically cripple me, which I think i'd prefer less....

    So how do you feel about these things? Do you prefer to work with what chance gave you, or do you go to the level of enhancement that means a one night stand could be an extremely awkward situation the next morning, involving lots of reclipping, and mucky fake tan stained sheets? Do you care? Should I stop rambling now?


    Thanks for reading. X

    Wednesday, 1 May 2013

    REVIEW - Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara

    Wow Maybelline, thats quite the mouthful of a name you've got going on there. Could it perhaps be because you make SO MANY mascaras now that you've started to have a bit of a laugh when naming yet another. For years I would hear the urban myth of the Maybelline 'pink and green' mascara before the brand hit these shores, and yeah, it's pretty good, but not the most perfect thing I ever used by any stretch. This was the early to mid nineties, you do expect some innovation obviously.


    Anyway, so, I have a ton of mascaras, a ridiculous amount. What with my lashes being straight, stumpy, and non existent without a good lashing of mascara. I have tried growth serums and got nowhere, so I have to rely on the good old fashioned method of about twenty coats of mascara. I have three favourite macaras, one being the previously reviewed DJV Beautinizer Volumising Mascara, the second being Diorshow Black Out and the third is the trusty YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils Mascara. I thought I had my arsenal sorted, but surprisingly, Maybelline have finally got me with a damn good mascara. Who'd a thunk it!?

    Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara

    So I gave this a go, and you can see the results below after two coats. Yeah, it's not totally clump free, but it separates lashes in a dolly eyed bambi esque way that I love, right from the root up, and it curls my stubborn lashes too, which is something that only happens when I use a very thick formula like YSL. 

    My eye. At some point this week. 

    So as you can see, it's pretty effective. It also doesn't smudge, but comes off pretty easily with make up remover at the end of the day. I highly recommend this mascara to anyone who wants curled, defined lashes with speed and ease! 

    If you want to invest, this is available from boots for the bargain price of £5.99