Sunday, 18 November 2012

Kate Moss Matte Lipstick by Rimmel

I'd read a fair few rave reviews of Kate Moss' new lipstick range for Rimmel when they first launched a few months ago, and couldn't wait to try one out. I'd already decided that I wanted to try shade #107, a deep, vampy red, but unfortunately it seemed that I lot of people had had the same idea - it took several trips into town before I managed to track one down. I finally found one (the last one in the shop!) in Boots a few weeks ago, and I've been meaning to write a review ever since. 

The lipstick costs £5.49, which I think is very reasonable for a decent lipstick. The packaging is beautiful - the case is a lovely matte red with Kate's autograph written on the lid in black; very elegant. Once applied the lipstick feels thick and creamy on the lips, appears perfectly matte, and the pigmentation is incredible - one coat gives complete coverage, and the colour appears bottomless. It won't last all day, but its staying power is better than most - perhaps I notice the fading more as I went for such a dark shade. That said,  I absolutely love the colour of this particular lipstick, it's a perfect for this season's trends - although I'll be completely honest and say I haven't worn it out yet, as when I leave the house it tends to be to go either to a lecture or the gym (#thirdyearproblems), and so this shade would be much too much. This week however I don't think it's going to leave my lips - two friends are celebrating their birthdays and it's my work Christmas do, perfect excuse much?!

This lipstick is an absolute steal for £5.49, and there are so many seasonal offers floating around at Boots and Superdrug that you're bound to be able to pick one up cheaply. Happy shopping! 


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Natural Collection / Beauty freebies

As part my quest to root out the very best budget cosmetics, I took advantage of a 3-for-2 offer in Boots (do they ever NOT have a 3-for-2 offer?), and bought three Natural Collection products - a brand that I have to admit I'm not usually a fan of. I picked up a blusher in 'Rosey glow' (let's quietly gloss over the fact that 'rosy' is spelt wrong - tut tut Natural Collection), a pressed powder in 'Warm', and a metallic baby blue nail varnish. If you didn't already know, all products by Natural Collection are £1.99 each, meaning that I walked away with all three products for under £4.

I absolutely love the colour of the nail varnish; I'd been looking for the exact shade everywhere so I was pleased to have found it at such a reasonable price. However, I've used Natural Collection nail varnish before and been extremely disappointed by the quality, so I wasn't holding out much hope. It took a good three coats to get solid coverage, and letting the previous coat dry first was an absolute must, or the polish would visibly seperate into different layers. I would usually apply a top coat on top of a cheaper branded nail varnish, but for the sake of experiment I refrained. I was actually pretty pleased with the results compared to experiences I've had with NC nail varnishes before - the picture shows my nails after five days, although there is a fair amount of chipping, it is only on the tips and therefore easily touched up. However, for the sake of an extra quid, I would upgrade to a Barry M polish every day of the week - the quality simply doesn't compare. 

Next up, the blusher. Unfortunately I've been really unimpressed with this product - for a start the pot with the blush in it broke off of the external packaging within a week, which I'm sensing will probably end in a big old mess. Even when using a semi-decent blusher brush I find that it's very difficult to apply this product evenly; using a small amount renders it barely visible, but using a tiny bit more leaves you looking like a clown. Shame.

The pressed powder was much more of a success. It does what it says on the tin - reduces shine and produces a matte finish when applied on top of foundation. I don't have oily skin to start with so perhaps it wouldn't work as well on different skin types, but for me I have no problems with it. It's also fragrance free, which I prefer, as some powders I've used before have stank to high heaven, not ideal when you're going to be putting it on your face!

Nail Varnish: 2/5 
Blusher: 1/5
Pressed Powder: 4/5

On a seperate note - those of you back home in Kent may be interested to know that Real Hair & Beauty salon in Tunbridge Wells is holding a relaunch event next week, on Wednesday 14th November. Between 2-8pm, pop in to receive free mini-treatments and hair demonstrations, as well as a complimentary Aveda goodie-bag! For more information, click here to view the Facebook event page.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

November Wish List

Here are a few products that I'm aiming to try out before the month is out, budget permitting. If you've tried any of these, please pop a comment in the box below to let me know whether I'm onto a winner or wasting my time! Or, if you're particularly interested in one of these products, let me know and I will try to get a review up as soon as possible.

1)  Organic Root Stimulator Hair Fertilizer (£4.39, Boots)

This product promises to help hair grow faster and stay stronger, two things that I'm looking to achieve now that I've officially decided to grow my fine hair as long as I can get it. The ingredients are all natural, which will make a welcome change for my constantly treated hair. Although I think this product is primarily aimed at those with an Afro-Caribbean barnet, hair guru James Brown claims that this fertilizer "has an amazing effect on locks" - and if it's good enough for Mr. Brown, then it's good enough for me - especially for under a fiver.

                             2) Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipsticks (£5.49, Boots)

I purchased my first Kate Moss Matte Lipstick a couple of weeks ago, and I am absolutely infatuated with it (full review to follow shortly). The shade I chose was #107, a deep vampy dark red which, although gorgeous, isn't really suitable for everyday wear. Because of this I'm dying to try out a few more shades - my eye is particularly drawn to #101, a pale dusty pink. Get me to Boots!

3) MUA Nail Constellation - Pisces (£3, Superdrug)

I'm a sucker for nail trends, and luckily for me, this doesn't appear to require any form of artistic skill. These pearls promise a beautifully unusual 3D nail effect, and if they are as easy to use as MUA claim, then this could become a staple in my nail kit in no time. The colours all look fairly similar to me, but Pisces caught my eye in particular.

4) L'Oreal Elvive Extrodinary Oil (£6.99, Boots)

Although I'm content-ish with my Avon Moroccan Argan Oil (see full review here), the advertising campaign for L'oreal's Elvive Extrodinary Oil has worked its magic on me, and I'm dying to try it. The large 100ml bottle makes this product a potentially very good buy for £6.99, and I've read some very promising reviews too.

5) Lydia 7 Piece Makeup Brush Set (£4.99, eBay)

I'm a total slob when it comes to makeup brushes, I just can't bring myself to spend out a load of cash on something that I don't quite believe will make a sigificant difference to how my makeup turns out (I'm aware that I'm probably oh-so-wrong about this...oh well). I find it shocking how expensive makeup brushes can be, and for that reason this set on eBay has been at the back of my mind for a while now - I think November might be the time to finally purchase. Fingers crossed that they'll turn out to be a brilliant bargain!

That's my top five for this month, I'll be curious to see which products emerge as favourites by December.  Don't forget to comment below if you've tried any of these please!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

MUA: Undressed Palette / Lipsticks

I tend to buy my beauty products from Boots above anywhere else, simply because I love their generous Advantage Card scheme. For this reason I'd never really heard much about MUA, a brand only available online or in Superdrug, until I started reading some other beauty blogs. After reading one particularly complimentary review, I knew I had to try some of their stuff out - partly because it seemed as if the products were half decent, and partly because they are simply TOO CHEAP not to try.

When the MUA range launched, all products retailed at the too-good-to-be-true price of £1 each. As the brand became successful, a new range was launched - MUA Professional - and although these items are slightly more expensive, I couldn't spot anything that costs more than £4. Prodcuts from the original range still cost £1 a pop.

I picked up two lipsticks, a coral-ish pink (shade 14) and a plummy purple (shade 2) from the original range, as well as the Professional 'Undressed' eyeshadow palette. As the name suggests, this palette is an unapologetic copycat version of Urban Decay's £35  'Naked' palette - except this MUA alternative comes in at just £4 (£3 if you're quick - I bought mine on a special offer instore at Superdrug, although I'm not sure how long this deal will last).

First off, the lipsticks. The first thing I noticed when I used either shade is the smell - although not particularly unpleasant, there's no denying that it has that cheapo lipstick odour. Strangely, I noticed a big difference in the pigmentation of the two lipsticks despite them being from the same range - the coral shade never seemed to fully coat my lips even after a few coats, whereas the plum appeared nicely pigmented after just one coat - odd! Maybe it didn't help that I wasn't all too keen on the coral to start with - for a start it's a very summery shade, and I think it would have suited me far better if I'd kept my blonde hair. I completely love the plum though - the shade suits me far better, and lasts longer than the coral, probably because it actually fully coated my lips to start with.

Now for the palette - and I am delighted to say that this is one of my favourite beauty bargains of the moment!  (At this point I would love to whip out a Naked palette and do a direct comparison, but alas - the only thing I can justify spending £35 on is my fortnightly Tesco shop.) The range of colours is lovely (nigh on identical to the Naked shades), with a nice balance of matte and shimmer shadows. They are easy to apply without sending shadow-dust flying everywhere, and are robust once you're wearing them - I haven't had to retouch my eyeshadow at all when wearing this palette. The only thing I would say is that the applicator that comes with the palette is useless, so use a nicer brush for best results. 

What a result, eh? I'll definitely be repurchasing the palette when it eventually runs out, and despite the hit or miss results from the lipsticks, I'll  be buying them to test out new shades or for general day to day wear. Check out the full range of MUA products at, or pop into a Superdrug store.

'Undressed' Palette: 5/5
Lipstick: 2.5/5 

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