Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains | A Disappointing Purchase

Although I claim to be one of those people who 'does her research' before investing in beauty products to avoid disappointment, every now and then it does happen that I act a little too impulsively when it comes to purchasing the latest product release. The Revlon Colourstay Moisture Stains were released in Ireland and the UK at the beginning of the month, and there was so much hype surrounding them that I had convinced myself that I needed to try them, even though I already have what could only be described as a disgusting amount of lip products. Now that I think about it, they seem to have turned out to be one of those products that everyone and their mother was raving about when they were first released, but now that the dust has settled they seem to have disappeared from most people's blogging radar - why didn't I just wait for the dust to settle?!  They are described as being lip stains with a creamy, gel like texture (and have even been likened to the YSL Glossy Stains), but to me they are just a bog standard lip gloss. Not that there is anything wrong with lip gloss, but I just didn't find them to be particularly staining or long lasting. There are eight shades in the range (to the best of my knowledge), and I decided to play it pretty safe and go for L.A Exclusive and London Posh.

If there is a nude shade in a lip product collection, you can be almost guaranteed that I will buy it. Being the most neutral out of all of the shades, London Posh was the one that I gravitated towards first. Big mistake. The shade is just awful and does me no favours whatsoever - I was *this* close to throwing it straight in the bin after first application. I would describe it as a very pale peach shade with a serious amount of gold shimmer, to the point where it almost looks metallic, and it is the sort of shade that I really couldn't imagine suiting anyone. L.A Exclusive, a bright bubblegum pink, is a lot more wearable and I do like the shade, but I would prefer if the colour stayed as bright and 'bubblegum pink like' rather than becoming darker and more muted after a few minutes. As for the formula, I am all for products that promise to be creamy, moisturising, balmy in texture and glossy, but I just couldn't warm to the formula of these. I prefer a lip product that is lightweight and unnoticeable on the lips - these were just far too thick and heavy for my liking. When wearing them, I am always aware that they are 'there', if you know what I mean, and they seem to just sit on top of my lips without melting in.  I have tried applying them in light layers but to no avail; they always end up looking gloopy and patchy. And I just can't seem to get on with the scent either - it just seems to stick around for hours and I'm always aware of it. I usually adjust to strong smelling lip products after a while, but not with these for some reason. In general, I am a fan of lip products with a glossy finish, but the finish of these was just a little too shiny and 'wet' for my liking. While they do last a little longer than a standard lip gloss, I definitely wasn't blown away by their lasting power which others seemed to rave about and I didn't notice any staining effect. But maybe that was because I always ended up wiping them off any time I wore them, and never wore them long enough to notice any sort of stain left behind... So as you can tell, I wasn't overly enamoured with the Colorstay Moisture Stains, but you live and learn right? 

Have you tried the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains? What were your thoughts?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Mini Sephora And Online Beauty Haul

What's this Rachael... Another post detailing your complete inability to demonstrate willpower when it comes to not purchasing even more beauty products that you could totally do without? What a surprise! Some things never change, do they. When my sister was heading to Upstate New York a few weeks back for a holiday and mentioned that she may be doing a spot of shopping whilst she was there, I decided that since the possibility of me heading to the States any time soon wasn't looking too promising, I would seize the opportunity and send my 'Sephora wish list' (and $$$) along with her. Cause fulfilling Sephora wish lists is what sisters do best, right?! There were three products in particular that were top of my list, and she managed to get her hands on all of them for me (major brownie points)... Around the same time (in a moment of weakness) I also placed a Look Fantastic order online (those 10% discount codes get me every time) and so I decided that I may as well throw in those purchases to the post, you know, to finish it off nicely. Let's just ignore the fact that even though five 'things' would technically constitute a 'mini' haul (hence the title of the post) for a beauty addict like me, I'm sure that it would most definitely qualify as a 'ridiculous amount' to the average person. 

Top of my 'Sephora wish list' was the Nars And God Created The Woman Palette (I know what you're all thinking - another palette?! surely not...), but let me tell you guys, this one was totally worth it. Nars is actually quite difficult to get a hold of here in Ireland, and to the best of my knowledge there is only one counter in the whole of the Republic, which just so happens to be about a two and a half hour drive from where I live. It also happens to be one of my favourite beauty brands, so whenever I'm presented with an opportunity to test out more products from the range, I always take it. I really really love their eye shadows, and when the And God Created The Woman Palette was doing the rounds on beauty blogs last year, I immediately knew it was one that was going to be added to my collection sooner or later. I mean, just look at it. Could a neutrals palette be any more perfect? It's smaller than I expected - think pocket sized - and contains a nice assortment of mattes and shimmers. My pick of the bunch is 'Kalahari', a shimmering golden bronze, but to be honest all of the shades are top notch in quality and right up my street colour wise. The set also comes with an eye shader brush that is surprisingly good quality, and a mini tube of the Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base which is a product I had been dying to try out for ages (and what pushed me to splurge on yet another neutrals palette). Is it a 'must have' for the average palette addict? Probably not, but I don't regret a single penny spent on it as I know I will get wear out of every shade. I have really been getting into 'pen style' eyeliners lately as I find them to be much less of a faff to use compared to gel liners and an angled brush, and one that I really wanted to try out was the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. It is basically a liquid liner in pen form with a brush tip rather than a felt tip. The tip is incredibly fine which allows for very precise application - it means I can apply liner right to the base of my lashes which really helps to thicken the lashline and give the illusion of fuller lashes. I'm really liking it so far - it doesn't budge once applied (something I always look for in a liner) and gives a wonderfully almost glossy jet black finish. I don't think it would be a 'proper' Sephora haul without mentioning one of the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blushes - these have been on my 'to try' list for the longest time and I was delighted when my sister came home with the shade 'Exposed' for me. I like to keep my blush fairly neutral most of the time, and 'Exposed' is the perfect shade for me as it is nude but with a slight hint of a plummy-pink undertone to it. They claim to be very long wearing, pigmented and suitable for all skin types thanks to the Amazonian Clay which supposedly helps to minimise oil, hydrate and improve the skin, and impart a smoother and more even appearance to the skin. I will have to test it out a little further before I can agree with that last claim, but I can definitely say that it does stay put all day and is completely resistant to fading. 

I also picked up a new Nars Blush as part of an order I placed on the online beauty site Look Fantastic - 'Douceur' had been at the back of my mind for the longest time, and lately it seemed to be popping up on blogs left right and centre. I took that as a sign that I should finally invest in it, and boy am I glad I did. Side by side, both of my new blush purchases look to be quite similar in shade, but in reality the Tarte offering is slightly more pink toned compared to 'Douceur' which has more of a brown undertone to it. Like 'Exposed', I think this will be the perfect autumn blush shade and I have been alternating between the two since they first came into my life. The dusky pink/brown shade looks nothing in the pan, but once on the cheeks it is truly stunning. I had heard that it is especially suited to those of us with a fairer skin tone and that it adds an almost sculpted effect to the cheekbones - anything which promises contoured features instantly has my attention and I am happy to say that it does give more shape to my face as well as adding a little warmth and colour. Love it. The second product I caved and purchased was the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask - again, another product that I had been dying to try out for what felt like forever and, oh man, this stuff is seriously good. I can definitely see it climbing it's way to the top of my 'favourite face masks' list. It cleanses my skin and draws out impurities, but also adds a huge amount of hydration and nourishment. It balances everything out and my skin always feel incredible after using it - I just can't get enough of it and really can't wait to try out more from the Antipodes skincare range. 

Have you purchased any new beauty products recently? 
Lots of love, Rachael 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Brights

Even though autumn is just around the corner, I think it is still acceptable to continue with summer themed posts for a little while longer before it's time to start writing about full coverage bases and plum toned lipsticks once again, right?! I can't be the only one wishing summer wasn't coming to an end and praying for just a few more days of warm weather... Am I? Though I'm a documented fan of neutral make-up year round, summer is a time that I generally throw caution to the wind and don a bright lipstick, blush or nail polish (from time to time) and this year there have been a few products in particular that have really stood out to me...

I'm sure y'all are fully aware at this stage of my penchant for a classic nude lip and the fact that I don't have a massive amount of lipstick shades other than pale pink in my collection at the moment, but two shades that fall into the 'bright' category that deserve a mention are the NYX Butter Gloss in Peaches & Cream and MAC's Girl About Town Lipstick. The NYX Butter Gloss is a great day time choice if you want to go for a bright lip colour but don't want something too 'in your face', as it provides a decent punch of colour but is still a little on the sheer side being a lip gloss. It's the type of gloss that could be worn either on it's own or layered over another lipstick to add a little more shine to the finish, and can be worn day or night. I definitely think that the Butter Glosses are one of the best drugstore lip gloss ranges out there  - they are really great quality at a super affordable price, feel so soft and comfortable on the lips, and most importantly completely lack the stickiness traditionally associated with lip gloss. The sweet vanilla scent is incredibly addictive, and reminds me of MAC lipsticks... And speaking of MAC lipsticks, Girl About Town is second one that is a great pick for bright lipstick lovers. This option packs a lot more punch in terms of pigmentation, and the bright fuchsia pink shade is truly stunning and eye catching. This is the ultimate bright summer lipstick in my opinion, and looks incredible when paired with minimal eye make-up and bronzed skin. Moving on to blush, the Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera is one I have spoken about a lot in the past, and for good reason. It is essentially a cream blush that can be worn either on the cheeks or the lips, and it gives the most beautiful flush of colour when tapped lightly onto the skin. It can be applied lightly to give just a sheer tint of colour or built up a little more, but what I love most about it is the fact that it leaves a wonderfully glossy finish that leaves the complexion looking healthy and glowing. If you have never delved into the world of cream blush before, I say go all out and experiment with one of the Convertible Colours - you will be converted (excuse the pun). It wouldn't be a 'summer make-up' themed post if I didn't mention a coral hued beauty product, and my pick is Benefit's Coralista - a beautiful warm toned coral-pink shade with subtle golden shimmer. This is another blush that brightens up the complexion just beautifully, and is one that always manages to give that summer glow (even if the sun hasn't managed to make too many appearances).

One area of beauty that I'm not afraid to play around with when it comes to colour is nail polish, and I literally could have chose twenty 'bright' options for this post but I did manage to narrow it down to just three. I had never dabbled with Models Own nail polishes before this summer, but when the Polish For Tans range was released a couple of months back I knew it was a range I would have to try out. My pick was Sun Hat, which is a vibrant hot pink shade that is incredibly eye catching and definitely a shade that makes a tan pop. The Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Polish in Sunny Sunday was a second one that I had to include as the colour and name just reminds me of warm, sunny summer days. The formula did take a little getting used to at the start - I found that it took ages to dry and smudged very easily, but once I started pairing it with my Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat I didn't have any more problems with it. Finishing off with an Essie polish (because I couldn't not mention something from Essie when discussing nail polishes) - The Girls Are Out was one that I picked up last summer as part of the 'Summer 2013' collection and I fell in love with it straight away. I would describe the shade as a bright fuchsia-purple with soft shimmer, and it looks stunning when paired with MAC's Girl About Town - the two together most definitely make for the perfect summer fuchsia nail and lip combo.   

What are your favourite 'summer brights'?
Lots of love, Rachael