27 June 2012

L'Oreal S/S 2012 Miss Candy Collection

I'm not that big on collections in general, but this one definitely caught my eye - it's the L'Oreal Miss Candy Collection :)

I think the main reason it drew me in was the atypical mix of pastels and brights. The pastels are so gentle and suitable for the softness of spring and the simplicity of summer, but the brights complement the warm weather that comes with both the seasons. This collection is already out in Boots and Superdrug.

Miss Candy Glam Shine Lipgloss
£7.65 each

711 Nude Bon Bon, 710 Pink Treat, 709 Miss Candy, 712 Dolce Pralina, 703 Tart Lolipop

The lipglosses just look so delicious, smell marzipan-y and the rose gold packaging is to die for - very cool how they changed it from the silver they use on the non-swirly GlamShines! I'm not a massive lipgloss girl, but there were two that actually caught my eye - Nude Bon Bon and Pink Treat. I imagine if I didn't have so many lipglosses I would have picked up Nude Bon Bon myself, as I find the size to be perfect for on the go, and the heart-tip applicator to be incredibly useful (much like The Body Shop Love Gloss which is one of my favourite lipglosses!). The formula is not too sticky and lasts quite a while as well. So if you're looking for a lipgloss, I do recommend the GlamShine range in general for its formula and packaging!

The shade range of this collection is interesting - it fits in with the collection theme, but I'm not 100% sure if people would be keen on is the silver addition to Miss Candy and Dolce Pralina, or the sparkliness of the middle three. I also know that the colours mix up once you start using them, which is a shame but hey - appreciate the small things right? :P

Miss Candy Color Riche Nail Polish
£4.99 each

101 Opera Ballerina, 202 Marie Antoinette, 305 Dating Coral, 213 Sassy Pink, 304 Spicy Orange, 616 Innocent Green, 601 French Riviera

The first to catch my eye was Opera Ballerina which I instantly put on my nails after I received it. While Opera Ballerina, French Riviera and Marie Antoinette are all not very opaque, when applied correctly in about 3 layers, it looks nice, delicate and pretty, as your nail still slightly shows through. However, I say "applied correctly" because they're all very prone to streaking. The formula was so different from the L'Or collection nail polishes, which were fast-drying, thin but extremely pigmented!

On the whole, I do like Color Riche polishes because they're cheap, easy to store, and the brushes are flat and the perfect width for easy application. But it's more suitable for people who put a lot of importance in packaging/application, or like the semi-opaque look (for the pale shades - as I said, the L'Or ones were super pigmented!). If that's you, these are 100% worth checking out! :)

My only comment about the Miss Candy nail polish range as a whole, is that most of the shades are not particularly unique - but maybe it's because they're such well-loved shades all shoved in one collection that it's so pretty to look at!

My favourite out of the lot is French Riviera - it's a baby blue with tiny dark blue sparkles, alongside Opera Ballerina! Note that there are 3 more colours available in this range - 602 Pearl Jade, 210 Shocking Pink and 303 Lush Tangerine. The newly designed colours are Sassy Pink and Innocent Turquoise.

Miss Candy Color Infallible Eyeshadows
£6.99 each

031 Innocent Turquoise, 036 Naughty Strawberry, 032 Sassy Marshmallow

These eyeshadows are such a cool formula, being a mix of powder, gel and mousse. The texture makes them so easy to blend, and easy to use with the fingers. Did I mention the pigmentation is phenomenal?

But I always find L'Oreal's colour choices for these Infallible Eyeshadows very odd.. they never seem to go for shades that everyone would easily wear, and instead seem to stretch on a limb to choose shades that are unique (good) but slightly daring or even odd to wear (not so good). I think in the L'Or collection they had 1 that I could see myself wearing, and out of these 3 I think Sassy Marshmallow may be the equivalent. These are relatively new formulas so I hope in the future they come out with more 'everyday' shades that I want to snap up!

Overall, a great collection. It has a clear theme, cute colours and adorable names which I imagine cater for a wide range of tastes and makes it generally lovely to look at - I can't fault them on that, it's spot on! I think the main let-downs were the eyeshadow colour choices, and for some, the nail polish formulas.

What are your thoughts on the Miss Candy collection?
What are your feelings on drugstore brands releasing collections?

*Received for consideration.
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25 June 2012

If I Had A Lot of Money Wishlist #1

I've been wanting a high-end quad for a while, and I think Chanel is my poison of choice! The colours are a good combo with lots of different looks that I'd actually wear, and I love the little domes :) I know there's been a bit of controversy with what GossMakeUpArtist said and while I do agree that it's unfair - we've got to make do. A possible Duty Free purchase perhaps?

M&S Rectangular Mirror Jewellery Box (for make up of course :P) £49.50

An accidental find when I was at Bluewater with Emma, I think this would be perfect on my vanity as a make up case! Ideally, all my make up would fit in this, but let's face it - that's not happening any time soon :P I still think it'd be very good for storing the most-used products and doing a Shopping The Stash once in a while. I think my favourite part about this box are the gem handles!

I've been lemming for this for months! Need I say more?

This as well, I've been lemming for ages, alongside the Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, which I'm still choosing between. I still have some gift vouchers - providing they have my shade (which is a 50/50 chance as many Japanese brands only cater for NC20-ish shades) so a possible purchase for the summer :)

MAC 150 £32.50

As much as I do like my Real Techniques powder brush, as it applies powder unrealistically evenly, I just feel it's not a 'dusting' brush. Sometimes it's just too dense and feel that it's moving the foundation underneath unless I hold it at the very end. I've been impressed at how much better a condition all my MAC brushes are in, despite being my oldest brushes, and feel like going back to my 'roots' let's say, and having a bit of a splurge. Powder brushes are an essential - I think I can justify it! :)

WHSmith Pink Nested Storage Boxes £10.99

This has been on my wishlist since I saw Vivianna Does Make Up's collection video, where she puts her 'stock' in a big box, and rotates what she uses in a smaller basket. I thought this would work for me as I've actually lost track what I have in my room as they're scattered everywhere, and I think this organization will help me use stuff up. I love the pink these come in - now the problem is finding an WHSmith that has them!

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22 June 2012

M&S Beauty Hall: Your Source for Apivita, and More!

I'm sure you've noticed me going on about Apivita products in the last couple of months, and in every review I said - €9 for shipping is pretty hefty. But worry not - as Apivita has crossed the continent, and has come to the UK via what is quintessentially, a British invention - M&S.

A week or so ago I went to the Westfield Stratford M&S beauty section launch, and was so ridiculously excited to finally see the Apivita products myself. As you could probably tell from the reviews, the formulas were generally really great, with brilliant ingredients and very little nasties, if any. However, many products that we had chosen for me was just not completely right for my specific needs, especially as the season had changed since I first received them. As you can imagine, it's very difficult to choose online or via email, so I'm really happy that I can now see products for myself and tailor them to how my skin is at that time.

But Apivita aren't the only brand that has come to M&S - there are loads that cause squeals in the beauty community like Nuxe, Dr Murad, Philip Kingsley, Roger & Gallet and Leighton Denny. It's also a great chance to check out brands that you may have never heard of. Some that caught my eye were Perlier and Australian Native Botanicals!

Sadly for you, I'm a bit of a clutz and forgot my SD card to the event, so the lovely people at Modus PR have sent me a few photos for you to see just how pretty and exciting the M&S beauty halls will be. These particular photos are of the M&S in High Street Kensington.

My favourite part about this beauty hall is that it's nothing like other beauty halls - no Estee Lauder, no Clinique, no Dior. You guys know I have nothing against these brands in any way, shape, or form but do we really need another store stocking these guys? M&S has brought brands that are rarely, if ever, stocked elsewhere in the UK which sets them apart as a different port of call from the usual Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser.

While M&S is a high street store, not all the brands that are stocked here are high street. Leighton Denny is a good example, as is Nuxe and other brands like Filorga whose products can range up to a few hundred pounds. On the other hand, there are incredibly affordable brands like Apivita, Perlier as well as M&S's own range that will cater to others. It's a really diverse and genuinely unique collection of brands that really fills a gap in the beauty hall market.

Although these are still in the process of popping up around the country, if you can get yourself to one, I'd highly recommend it. The area is staffed with people who are not on commission, and will gladly give you their honest, unbiased opinion if you ask for help. If the Stratford staff are anything to go by, they're all really knowledgeable and very helpful! If this isn't an option however, the online shop has is up on M&S's website.

Personally, I'm crazy excited. I'm really excited to try more Apivita stuff, try new SLS/paraben-free hair care with Australian Native Botanicals, and maybe treat myself to some Perlier Body Water that I was vehemently sniffing with Gem and Charli. Generally, I'm excited for all the new brands that I can consider when I'm shopping!

Have you been to any M&S beauty halls?
What do you reckon about them so far? :)

*PR Event
*Photos are from Modus PR
*The Apivita products I've tried were supplied to me by their PR.
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21 June 2012

Oh Dior, You've Done It Again..

No question about it, my favourite department store brand is Dior. This love developed in the last year, when I purchased my favourite foundation, Diorskin Forever. And a few weeks later, they came out with the infamous woven-look summer bronzers, Aurora and Sunset (which you can see here on Ms Purple Make-Up's blog).

And OH how I lemmed after Aurora for WEEKS. Literally, lemmed. Yet I couldn't bring myself to part with the cash..

Fast forward a year and I found myself in the exact same position, lemming for a very similar colour, but with their new bronzers from the Le Croisette Collection S/S 2012. This time, I decided to bite the bullet, and armed with a 10% off code for Debenhams, this absolute beauty fell into my hands:

Diorskin Nude Tan Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder in 002 Sunlight

I ADORE the packaging. This year's bronzer comes in a circular packaging, embossed with the classic Dior pattern. I think it's very classy, and much more understated than your typical navy, duo-whatever, bulky square Dior case. This one is sleek, and understated. It's weighted but not uncomfortably so - it's rather quite comfortably weighted. The case also shuts with a magnet. The size is that of a MAC MSF/N, and I think the amount is the same as well. It also comes with a kabuki which after using a powder brush, I feel is the best brush to apply this product.

And now onto the product itself.. :)

I know, she's a beaut! :)

I fell in love! Probably more than I did with Aurora last year, because 1) it's a perfect mix of peach, pink and tan, so very versatile and 2) because you can use the shades individually (which I think was a criticism of last year's, so good on Dior!). It seemed like a prettier, more youthful version of Dior's sculpting powders, although those can be used for all over the face too. Do keep in mind that in real life, the D and the E are a bit peachier than what you see.

In terms of the range, it consists of 4 palettes like this one. The one you see above is Sunlight 002, and the others include Aurora 001, Zenith 003 and Sunset 004. I think it's only in Europe that you can get all 4 shades, which pleased me to no end! The latter 2 are more like the traditional bronzers, in that they are quite dark and warm-toned, whereas Aurora and Sunlight are much lighter, pinker and more like a blush bronzer. Whether Aurora and Sunset are the same as last year's is something I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out online.

Left to right: N/E, U/D, mixture of everything.

Generally what I do, is use N/E for contour, and U/D for my cheeks, or just mix everything onto that general area.

And my oh my - it gives THE most gorgeous, subtle glow, EVER. On my medium/tan skintone (about NC35 - I've been using this on my Diorskin Forever 030), it's less harsh than a contour but brown enough to sculpt, but still pink enough to add a flush - so it's like the perfect mixture of glowing, sculpting and flushing. I've been wearing quite plain make-up recently, with no eyeshadow and nude lips, just mascara and eyeliner, so this really goes with the theme. It's perfect for that understated or no make-up look, or if you want either your eyes or your lips to be the focus. I'm a blusher-lover and a bronzer-lover, so this was really a good spend for me and very good for the make-up bag as it goes with any look, and it's also a 2-in-1. It's just generally ridiculously stunning for your skin.

Would I pay the £37? I think I would. But I think the catch with this product is finding your right shade out of the 4 (i.e. Aurora, Sunlight, Zenith, Sunset), and also what you want from the product - whether you want a blusher/bronzer, or just one or the other. If I'd gone into a store I imagine many store attendants would have directly told me to go for Zenith or Sunset because they're darker and would've been the proper bronzer for me, but a bronzer isn't what I wanted. So go with what you want, not what you're supposed to want. Also, if you want a strictly contouring product, Dior have made a permanent line that looks exactly like this, but with all one colour, which comes in I think about 6 shades? So lots of choice.

You know when you splurge and then try the product, and a part of you is left disappointed even if you like the product generally - just because it's not perfect? Yeah, none of that with this for me, because there isn't a single penny I regret spending on this! :) It's a feeling I haven't had for a very long time so it was very exciting indeed!

How did you feel about this new collection this year?
Any Dior lovers out there too? :)
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15 June 2012

A Slightly Anti-Climactic French Pharmaceutical Haul

"Slightly" is probably an understatement when I say I bought a grand total of 1 item.. BUT, in my defense, I felt that many things, bar Bioderma, are readily available if you live in London SO.. justified.

Anyway, the 1 item that I did decided to purchase was one that I'd seen on FeelUnique a few weeks back - so not actually that rare either (haha fail). This is the Nuxe Lotion Tonique aux 3 Roses.

This toner caught my eye for the ingredients - no alcohol and no parabens, with camomile and witch hazel. I've almost done a 180 on myself since the beginning of the year when I was so hell-bent on getting things that would reduce my oiliness, exfoliate and generally be a bit harsh on my skin. Although I feel that's necessary for me in the winter months, unlike most people, in the summer my skin becomes drier and so I feel the need to be more gentle towards it. So I felt this was the best option.

The main things I've noticed so far is that the smell is quite potent (like, REALLY rosy - it has fragrance added) and that you go through it quite quickly - I did get the massive 400mL special offer though, so hopefully it'll last me a good few months. I've only used it a few times, so I couldn't tell you details on its effects etc., but at the moment, the smell is putting me off a lot. But I can see why it's gentle, and it really seems to remove the last traces of make-up! I was told that it's incredibly popular, so hopefully once I finish my LUSH Breath of Fresh Air and start using this more regularly, I'll come out with a positive review.. but until then I just wanted to share my incredibly anti-climactic French pharmaceutical purchase with you :)

Anyone else tried this?
What's your favourite French pharmaceutical product? :)

Just FYI if you're looking to get NUXE offline, M&S's new beauty halls are slowly popping up across the country and yes - they stock NUXE! :) I'm not sure which do and which don't, but I know for sure that the Westfield Stratford one does - complete with the cult favourite lip balm and dry oil :) 

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13 June 2012

Reviews: My Japanese SPFs (Shiseido Maquillage, Paul&Joe, Biore)

As I get older and more aware that I am technically and biologically no longer a child and will soon start aging, I've started to give this SPF thing a thought. Who wants wrinkles, age spots and more importantly, skin cancer? Yeah, no one.

So who better to trust when it comes to SPF, than the society where whiter skin is seen as desirable, and where everywhere you look - magazines, dermatologists, beauty counters - you're constantly reminded that you should wear SPF? I remember my cousin was absolutely horrified when I told her I only wore SPF that's included in products! This is why over time when I go back to Japan, I've done a bit of a SPF haul. Here are the three that I've tried, all with different levels of SPFs..

Shiseido Maquillage White Repair Essence Base SPF30 PA+
Out of the three, this is the most difficult to acquire in the UK, so I'm sure it'll be welcomed when I say it's not my favourite. The good parts are that the consistency is very watery and runny, and it blends incredibly well. It's so light and easy on the face compared to some thick cream SPFs out there. It also has a pearlescent pink colour to the liquid but on the face, this barely shows. That being said, on my medium skin, it casts a bit of a white layer which may be an issue to those who wear tinted moisturizers or nothing at all. It also has a slight dewy finish, and a lovely packaging and pump!

I can't really fault its consistency and it's the perfect level of protection for cloudy days and the winter, so when I say it's not my favourite, it's also not a bad product in the slightest. Just in comparison to my favourite, it's lacking some minor details that you will see later. But if it was cheaper, or if I couldn't find anything better with the same SPF for the wintertime,  I'd definitely consider repurchasing.

This is probably my least favourite out of the bunch, and it's just such a shame because it's the most accessible, and what I think is the most reasonable sun protection for the summer. As I'll say again later, I've read there are some health issues with ingredients that create SPFs that are higher than 50, so I feel 40 is a good call.

So why do I not like this? This is more of the typical SPF (or the ones that I've swatched here in the UK), in that it's like a creamy balm and gives you a very wet, dewy finish. Now this may be to some people's tastes, but for me, I don't really like that sticky feeling. I also find it quite difficult to blend which I've noticed is the biggest face-make up pet peeve of mine.

The good part though, is that if you DO like this kind of texture and finish, then this will not cast a white shade on you like many SPFs do, because these are tinted enough to avoid the cast, but not enough to give any coverage - it's absolutely genius! That's why it comes in 2 shades, and the one I have is 02, which is good for my face which is probably around NC25-30.

Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF50+ PA+++
This is one that I dug up a week or so ago, and is my absolute favourite - I've fallen in love with it. The texture is so watery and runny, and a lot like the Maquillage one in terms of lightweight-ness, but it has the slightest touch of a silicone-y feel, that makes it really work as a primer to smooth out your skin. I actually prefer this to typical primers which feel like 100% silicone (obviously aren't lol), not only because it's a 2-in-1 SPF/primer, but because it just feels so much lighter on the skin. Also, although the liquid is white, it hardly casts white over your face once it sinks in! These are the little details that sets it apart from the Maquillage one :)

My only concern about this one is what I mentioned earlier about SPF50 and above. Because I don't know a lot about this, I've been adoring this cuz I just feel really protected with a high SPF and PA+++. But in the future I think I will look for it in a lower SPF, unless I'm going somewhere with higher UV levels, because everything else is perfect - no white cast, 2-in-1, lightweight, make-up base, SPF & PA, and also, affordable!

Left to right: Shiseido Maquillage, Paul & Joe, Biore.

Left to right: Shiseido Maquillage, Paul & Joe, Biore.

Now regarding places to purchase, the Shiseido Maquillage seems to be virtually unavailable except from the countries that actually stock the Shiseido Maquillage range (mostly South East/East Asian countries), and this online store called Akinai. Paul & Joe is available from BeautyBay or ASOS for £18/£16.50, and I've found the best place to find the Biore one is eBay, where there are quite a few Thai sellers. Obviously you have to always have your wits about on eBay, so just keep that in mind :) It is definitely the most affordable of the 3 though, and in my opinion, the best of the bunch!

So that's my take on the 3 Japanese SPFs I have! They're super different from ones I've swatched in the UK, so I thought it'd be interesting to do a post :) I hope you've got something from this post for the upcoming summer months, but let me know your favourite SPFs - I'd love to know more great options or if there is anything similar to these ones from other brands! :) Also, please let me know if I'm wrong in thinking that most "Western" brands have a creamy SPF - it's just from my experience swatching them that I've noticed this!

Happy UV protecting! ;)

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11 June 2012

Blush Crush #2, #3 & #4

It shames me to say that I haven't been keeping up with this Blush Crush thing. I really do love blush, and today I counted that I had 17 products - one of which has 3 blushes in. A bit mental, and I'm proud to say I've only bought 3 in the whole of 2012 (I think), so it's coming slightly under control.. although the pan is nowhere in sight for any of them so maybe not so grand.. MOVING ON.

So I thought I'd update you and fill you in on my current blush crush, but also of the 2 that came before.

These are the Clarins Illuminating Cheek Colour in Miami Pink, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful and NARS Torrid. The former is a warm-toned pink, and the latter is a corally pinky peach with a subtle gold shimmer. The Tarte one will be discussed more in depth in the following section, as it's my absolute favourite right now.

The Clarins Miami Pink was a purchase in January, and I did wear it quite a lot during the end of the winter. I found it to be subtle, natural and extremely suitable for the cold weather and my paler skin. But I haven't worn it in a while as it was replaced in March by..

The NARS Torrid. Until March, this was a regrettable purchase from the May before, that I honestly never reached for because I felt it made me look clown-like and that it was too bright. But after a last 'go' before selling it, I absolutely fell in love. It brightened my skin in the cold weather, and it went really well with my between-seasons skintone and neutral eyes that I sported that month. I think this was my go-to blush for 2 months straight - no joke.

Top to Bottom: NARS Torrid, Tarte Blissful, Clarins Miami Pink.

Is it just me that feels that if the Clarins and NARS blush were to have a baby, it would look something quite like Blissful?

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

I know, what a hottie.

Blissful has been my go-to blush for about a month now since I got it from my swap with Samantha.

It's much more long-lasting than your average blush, and I'd go so far as to say they are much more long-lasting than NARS. I also think the pigmentation is at a perfect, very easy-to-use level. I personally don't like too much pigmentation, because you need to think about it whilst applying it.

For the formula, I think it's worth every penny, and if I had easier access to these, I would be picking up another one in Dollface in a wink!

On my NC40 cheeks, it's a very very warm pink that is bordering on peach. It gives the most youthful glow and makes my face look very alive. Because it's quite confusing whether I would consider it a peach or a pink, it really goes with any look at all.

Now many of my UK readers must be thinking, "What an absolute knob. She knows we can't get Tarte in the UK!" This is unfortunately true, and I hope that sentence didn't raise your hopes as for a miracle answer on how to get your hands on Tarte bar crossing the Channel or doing a swap. But, if you are in love with the shade more than wanting to try a formula, MAC has just come out with what I've been told is a very similar shade in their Hey, Sailor collection called Fleet Fast. Not sure if that made things any better but it was my attempt!


So those were my blush crushes in the recent months :) 

What were some of your favourites?
Have you tried any of these?

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10 June 2012

Instagrunday #3

1. My first ever TopShop purchases 2. NewLook Leopard Print Maxi Dress 3. Jubes nails 4. Chanel and The Body Shop x Body and Soul event haul 5. Our view at the Jubilee pageant 6. Froyo in Westfield, Stratford ;)

..and another cheeky purchase :)

Instagram: @MakeYuUp

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9 June 2012

Event: LP Skin Therapy

You guys know I love my events - I love hearing stories behind products, I love hearing what the brand is about, and I love to get a feel of why the brand ever wanted to exist, and these are things you don't often get at counters and stores. The other day I had one of the most exciting, fulfilling and thought-provoking opportunities to visit Dr. Linda Papadopoulos's lovely home to learn about her skincare range, LP Skin Therapy.

LP Skin Therapy is a range that centres around psychodermatology. This basically means that people like Dr. Linda study the connection between emotions and your skin. Now we all hear about the scents in products that de-stress us and whatnot, but LP Skin Therapy approaches this with science rather than alternative medical approaches like aromatherapy.

There are 2 main aspects to her products that make the line more than just a lovely-smelling line (which they actually really are) - cortisol and nootropics. Cortisols are hormones that are released when you're stressed, and in low levels they help to de-stress you. But in high levels, they can actually activate things in the body that happen whilst you're stressed - like blocked pores, premature aging and breakouts. Nootropics are ingredients that alleviate these effects that stress has on your skin.

LP Skin Therapy products contain varieties of nootropics that will counter these effects. So it isn't a range that de-stresses you necessarily, but tricks your skin into thinking that you aren't stressed, so your skin is in a healthy, unstressed-you condition :)

Now I'm always slightly skeptical of 'one-size-fits-all' skincare, but the reason for LP Skin Therapy is simple. I personally find that stress can not only lead to breakouts but also excessive oiliness, and I'm sure others experience other symptoms. Stress can basically worsen your worst skin concerns.  But because these problems have a common source - stress - it makes sense to only have one 'size'. It's a much more holistic and psychological approach, than the more quick-fix and purely scientific one that many other brands take.

It all sounds well and good, right? Everything seems to make sense (especially to a science dummy like myself anyway), so I am very excited to have been offered a few products to try for myself. This includes their Uplifting Facial Water, Multi-task Day Cream, Untired Eye Cream and Refining Lip Exfoliator - so keep your eyes out for reviews in the future!

Although I went there to talk about this range, I got to know more about Dr. Linda herself as well. So much of what she deals with in and outside of LP Skin Therapy, like psychodermatology, child sexualisation, body image, inner-beauty - is about helping and empowering people to not let skin and body troubles hold you back from fulfilling your potential. You could tell she was dying for people to try this line and understand why she does it and why she believes in it, and it just reminded me how this kind of humanity is astonishingly lacking in the beauty industry. It was incredibly refreshing to see such good-willed passion and belief!

She was also saying how she didn't want this range to be seen as a 'celebrity perfume release' (which is something that I can only assume doesn't cross many celebrity-perfume-makers' minds - obviously). Her academic background is evidence to how much she knows about this topic, and how it wasn't just her saying, "I want something that alleviates stress, surprise me!" It's a result of her personal research and expertise, which makes this brand so much more personal than Justin Bieber and his perfumes..

Overall, it was an incredible, incredible opportunity. I got to learn about an incredibly unique range, with such a strong emotional ethos, and I also got to chat with the person behind it all! We got to talking about all kinds of things ranging from human rights to UGGs - a truly genuine, laid-back and inspiring person! I really can't do justice to what I got from this meeting.

Aisling from fash-ling also had this opportunity, and has put it much more eloquently than I on her post here - I wholeheartedly recommend a read, as I was nodding and smiling throughout the whole post! :)


LP Skin Therapy is sold on the website here, as well as on QVC. Dr. Linda's next appearance on QVC is this Tuesday12th June at 6PM, which will also be streamed online for us students who have no tele :)

Dr. Linda will also be at The Only Way is Blogging event on Saturday 16th June for those of us who can travel to London. She'll be talking about body image and confidence. She is seriously such a cool person guys, I'd recommend popping by, if only to meet her! :)

Have you tried LP Skin Therapy?
I can preemptively say that the Uplifting Facial Water is looking promising! :)

*PR Event, items received for consideration.
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7 June 2012

FOTD: Mint Choc - Inspired by TiffanyD

I don't like mint choc if I'm perfectly honest, but when I saw TiffanyD's Teal & Coral Summer Make Up tutorial, I was really quite inspired and decided to do a slight adaptation for myself :)

First I started with my trusty MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre as a base. Although it wasn't stark enough to really bring out the teal, I think it helped to tone it down a bit and make it a bit less 'in-yo-face' than it could have been. Then I packed on the light teal shade called Mint Green from The Body Shop's Palette 22 Shimmer Cube, and highlighted the inner corners with Virgin from the Urban Decay Naked Palette.

For the outer corners, I decided to go more chocolate-y than Tiffany, and opted for Urban Decay's Smog. After creating an outer-v with that, I blended the Mint Green and Smog with Half Baked from Urban Decay.

To blend the colours into my skin, I used a very orange-based matte light brown shade from my 28 Neutral Palette, to warm up the look. It doesn't really matter what matte light brown you use, it just depends on what you feel needs adjusting to the look. I also highlighted my brow bone with a matte cream shade, also from the same palette.

For the rest of the face, I took TiffanyD's advice and kept my cheeks to a toned down warm pink. She used a MAC blush from the Hey, Sailor collection which she said was very similar to the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful - which I have! So on it went. My lips are actually bare, bar a bit of foundation (class :P), but I reckon I'll use my usual Rimmel Moisture Renew in Nude Delight for the rest of the day! The eyeliner was also by suggestion of Tiffany, to keep them a bit short and stout so the attention isn't taken from the colours. Clever! For this I used my Clinique Gel Liner in True Black.

That was it really! :)

It depends on the fold of your eye, but for me, the mint shade pops out enough to show a bit of colour, but the brown is the majority of what you see. This makes it incredibly easy to wear during the day. Also, the short and fat eyeliner makes it more cute than glam and OTT for the day :)

What colours do you like to mix with neutral colours?
Which YouTuber do your favourite eye looks? :)

Last year, I was equally as inspired by another one of TiffanyD's looks - check out the post here! :)

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6 June 2012

Sponges, Sponges, and More Sponges.

I usually have a love-hate relationship with sponges, because some of them can be mind boggling-ly useless. But recently, I've been all over them. The three that I've been experimenting with have become must haves, beauty loves and absolutely incredible finds, so I thought I had to share my spon-ddiction with you today! See what I did there?

1. Konjac Sponge with Nourishing Mineral Rich French Green Clay
Due to my absence from the blogging world, I'm not quite sure if this is an 'in' thing that I obviously came to stumble on, or something not quite yet 'in' that I happened to stumble on anyway, but needless to stay, I stumbled upon it quite recently.

Konjac sponges are apparently made from vegetable fibres used by the Japanese for over 1,500 years. As a Japanese person, my first reaction was: "the kon-what?" On reflection, I can only assume this is the same as what we call, "konnyaku". But I can live with "konjac". It's 100% colouring free, naturally sustainable and naturally pH balanced. It's also ideal for sensitive skins.

Basically what you do is you dampen it, it expands, and without a drop of cleanser, you scrub away at your face. "Scrub" is the wrong word though, as it feels more like brushing - it feels so invigorating, cleansing, and mildly exfoliating. In fact, it feels so good that I've had to stop myself. And after rinsing your face, your face feels super polished, refreshed and clean. Although I've only used this twice, I noticed that my oil production has significantly dropped in the past 2 days, and that my skin is always squeaky clean. There are several variations as well as the original that you can choose from to work with your skin-type. It also claims to be perfect for removing make-up, but I'd rather keep the sponge nice and clean, and for a gentle morning cleanse. It also works perfectly for my attempt to strip back the chemicals and unnecessary beauty products in my skincare routine :)

2. Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge
It's been raved about before, but it just isn't enough. This sponge is a godsend for us lot who like a lightweight feel to our foundations. Once you dampen it, it expands to about 1.5x the size, and becomes a jelly-like, wobbly sponge that still maintains the stiff core that probably distinguishes it from the BeautyBlender. I love applying my NARS Sheer Glow with this, as it thins it out whilst maintaining the majority of the coverage the foundation offers. It also makes application quite fun.. it feels like babies' cheeks, and slightly resembles the EDF Energy blob if you wiggle it in a certain way.. (you can tell my exams are over).

3. The Body Shop Soft Facial Sponge
Undoubtedly bound to feature in my May Favourites (that will come in the near future.. hopefully), I use this to remove my gel cleanser, and it helps lightly exfoliate, completely remove make up and reduces the wet faff of rinsing off gel cleansers (they really like to cling!). A massive anti-flannelist due to them being long, wet, and drippy, I converted to this sponge in hopes of similar effects. As an amateur, whether the effects are as good/the same is beyond me, but I can definitely tell that the cleanser has had better effects since using this sponge.

The best news? These are all under a tenner each. The Konjac sponge comes in the most pricey at £6.50 and can be purchased from Liberty department store in London (3rd floor, bath section), Love-MakeUp or you can look up stockists on their website here. The Cosmopolitan sponge is available in Superdrugs for £4.95, or you can get an unbranded but similar version on Love-MakeUp for £3.99 + P&P. The Body Shop sponge is available in, well, The Body Shop for £3.

Cheap as chips, some are even healthy, and definitely all effective :)

What are your feelings on sponges?

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2 June 2012

ToFebruary Clam Necklace

One thing I love about being in Japan, is that the design of a lot of jewelry, make-up packaging and clothing are really different from what you can find in the UK. In terms of jewelry, I find a lot of pieces to be very delicate, swirly and sparkly - very feminine indeed!

If you can't travel to Asia though, toFebruary is a great alternative. The company is based in the USA, and has jewelry, clothing and other accessories that are inspired by Far East Asian styles. The Clam Necklace in Gold was my piece of choice!

This piece has been one of my favourites in the past few weeks, for several reasons. First, I think the colour goes really well with tan skin - it kinda blends into the skin (it's not really very gold, it's kind of like a pink gold) and it makes it a bit discreet and almost mysterious?

The shape and size is also unique in that you wouldn't call it small, but it's also not a 'statement' piece either. It's somewhere in the middle, which I think isn't as common as you'd think.

Although I'm not sure whether the manufacturers of all the pieces on the site is the same, it's important to mention a few things about the quality of the necklace.

The first is that the clasp was very badly designed. It's one of those circular clasps that you pull the tab to slide it open, and put it through the hole on a piece on the other end of the necklace. However, this particular piece's hole is too small, so it goes through the ring bit that slides open, but not the thicker bit on the rest of the ring. So basically it can only be clasped where the ring slides, so it's hard to fasten without a pair of eyes! But it's never fallen off, or taken me more than a few seconds to make it work - so not too much of a biggy.

The material it's made out of is also very good quality. It never stained my skin green, the colour hasn't faded with sweat or showers, and there hasn't been any gems that fell off and there's been no tangling of the chain. It also doesn't catch hair from the nape of your neck at all!

So besides the clasp malfunction, the necklace is of a very good quality, and for $10 (£6.50), I think it's definitely worth the money.

Another thing I do need to comment on, is the site. It's incredibly hard to navigate, as there's no option to filter jewelry (except necklaces, bracelets or rings), or a 'View All' option so you can scroll through their whole collection. The photographs are also not unified - some have models, while others don't. So you can see the actual size in some, and in some you can't see the pieces in too much detail. That being said, the only reason why I feel the site needs these functions is because they have such a wide range of products that you can choose from - you're bound to find something you fancy :)

On international shipping, it's generally $7 (about £4.50) per piece, but if you email them, they are willing to combine shipping for multiple items and may even discount your shipping to as low as $5, as when assessing shipping costs they need to take into account clothing orders :)

Overall, I think toFebruary fills a great gap in the market, and allows us to access styles that we usually wouldn't be able to on this side of the world! The prices are all reasonable, and the quality is superb. Other than the ease of use of the website and slight malfunction, I would recommend this site to anyone who is interested in a Far East Asian jewelry! :)

Have you heard of toFebruary?
What do you reckon about the difference in style?


P.S. I know I said I'll be back in business and haven't been, but I hopefully will very soon! Favourites and more reviews are next on my list, so please keep your eyes peeled, and thank you for your patience! :)

*Received for consideration.
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