Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Dolce K lip kit by Kylie Jenner and the perfect dupe

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you'll know that the Kylie Jenner lip kits are currently a huge deal in the beauty world. I finally managed to get my hands on a kit so do they live up to the hype? Time for another honest review! 
As many of you will know, these kits are very difficult to come by and they sell for a small fortune on ebay, a batch gets released once or twice a week and customers are put into a queue as the servers get so busy then once it's your turn you get to order so it's a bit of a faff just for a lipstick but I'd heard so much about these that I really wanted to try one. 
First impressions, I love the design of the packaging and tube, it really stands out from other lipsticks. The matte liquid lipstick kits come with both a lip liner and the lipstick and the idea is to use the lip liner first, filling in the entire lip and then applying the lipstick over the top which is unlike anything I've ever used before. Secondly I noticed the smell, which is overwhelming, it smells like vanilla cupcakes and I never understand why cosmetics companies feel the need to put sweet scents into products. Personally, I'd rather cosmetics companies started making products unscented as I find it slightly off putting. 

I picked the shade Dolce K as I like warm, nude colours however this shade is not what I was expecting, I find it to be too dark and definitely not a shade I could wear everyday for work which is what I was hoping for. However on the bright side, it is long lasting, even after eating and drinking. I recommend exfoliating and moisturising lips the night before using this liquid lipstick as it dries to a completely matte finish so if you have dry or chapped lips this product will highlight the problem. I also find that this shade really varies against different skin tones. 
Overall, including shipping this product is £30 to UK customers which in my opinion is excessive. Would I purchase from the Kylie range again? Well I love how it looks in photos but I wish I had picked a lighter shade such as Candy K so that I can wear it for work. 

My advice is if you are going to buy one, make sure it's from the official Kylie website as eBay sellers charge even more and also if you're skin tone is very light like mine then pick the lightest shade you can find. I like this product despite the scent and picking the wrong shade and I will continue to wear it but let me make it clear, this looks a lot better in photos than it does in person! I am somewhat disappointed in this product and I don't think it justifies it's price tag, there are far better matte lipsticks and glosses out there for a fraction of the price!

Now for the perfect dupe! 
For those that still want to try the Kylie range but don't want to splash out £30 I have found a good dupe which is the NYX Soft Matte lip cream in the shade Abu Dhabi. 
I find this to be the closest match to Dolce K and it's only £5.50, Abu Dhabi is just slightly warmer and less dark but it dries matte and is fairly long lasting. 
Dolce K on top and Abu Dhabi comparison 
I hope you enjoyed my honest review of the Kylie Jenner lip kit! 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Fleur De Force Lashes by Eyelure in Couture Fleur

Today I thought I'd try eyelash extensions by beauty blogger Fleur De Force. She has recently brought out her own range of false lashes with Eyelure so I decided to give them a whirl. The range includes sets of full lashes or lash extensions so after a makeup artist used extensions on me when I was a bridesmaid and I liked the result, I opted for these at £6.95 from Boots. 
First impressions there are lots of different lengths to choose from with this kit and it includes glue and remover, lash extensions are different to full sets of false lashes as they are glued to the actual lashes and not the skin just above the lash line. 

The idea of lash extensions is to give a natural finish, you can choose to use a couple of strands at the end of your lashes to give a subtle flutter or you can use more to create a full effect. I prefer to just use a few at the end of my lashes to give a subtle finish, as often I don't like the feel of false lashes or how fake they can look. 

I have to say though I am disappointed with this kit, firstly it is recommended that you use tinfoil then apply a drop of glue to this then select your individual lashes and dot them into the glue using tweezers. I found that the glue just didn't stick and that the lashes were too fiddly, I dropped several and lost them before trying for the third time. Each time I tried to stick the lashes to my real lashes I found that they just did not stick and fell off straight away. In fact I don't even have an end result image to share as I could not get the lashes to work. By the fourth attempt I just gave up.  

I think in future I will just stick with full sets of false lashes which is a shame as I had high hopes for this kit and with it being endorsed by Fleur and created by Eyelure which usually do the best false lashes, I thought this would be amazing. I found this to be a terrible product that I simply would not waste money on. However, as I always say what does not work for me, may work for you but I personally would not recommend this product. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

K.I.S.S.I.N.G. So Marilyn by Charlotte Tilbury

I'm never usually one for bright or bold colours, especially not red but this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in the colour So Marilyn really caught my eye... 
Recently I reviewed the K.I.S.S.I.N.G Stoned Rose lipstick which you can read here. I am fairly new to the Charlotte Tilbury range of cosmetics but so far everything I have tried I have loved! 
What first attracted me to this colour was probably the name So Marilyn, anything with the name Marilyn instantly reminds me of the classic 1950`s look of red lips and winged eyeliner which is a winning combination. I would never usually choose a lipstick like this, much preferring to wear more natural and nude tones but once applied this colour leaves a very shiny, highly pigmented finish, I would describe this colour as ruby red and best suited to wear for nights out or a date. 
These lipsticks claim to make lips appear bigger and with the Stoned Rose lipstick I did not notice any difference but with this colour I definitely noticed a difference, my lips appeared slightly fuller and I received many compliments. It looks very bright in daylight, perhaps a little too bright for my liking but still, this is a gorgeous colour that definitely reminds me of Marilyn Monroe and one which I will definitely wear in future.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Nivea Post Shave Balm as a primer?

 I want to discuss a recent trend I discovered in the beauty blogging world and share with you my thoughts and whether it actually works. This was first discovered by NikkiTutorials, an amazingly talented makeup artist so after running out of my usual primer I decided to test this out.
I applied this just the same way I do with my usual primer before applying my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. The first thing I noticed was the smell which,  because it's a men's product, smells like aftershave which I found to be quite strong. I had no idea if this would work or if it would just leave my makeup looking a mess by the end of the day but I had heard other beauty bloggers claim that they would never use a primer again and describing it as their holy grail product so I had quite high expectations. 

Firstly, I didn't really notice a difference once I had finished applying my foundation and it didn't help with the actual application either. As the day wore on I felt that my makeup looked slightly more oily than usual and slightly patchy, I also noticed that all the foundation on my nose had come off completely. However, I find that the results of Nivea Post Shave balm vary greatly depending on the type of foundation you wear. I found that using it under my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation did not perform as well as it did under my Revlon Colorstay foundation which worked like a dream and gave it a matte, airbrushed finish that lasted all day. 

Would I recommend this a primer? Well for me I found that it works great with some foundations and not others, I find that makeup does stick to it and that a little goes a long way but in future I will just stick to actual primers as there's not much difference in price between the usual Rimmel primer I use and the Nivea Post Shave balm apart from the difference in size, you get a bigger bottle with Nivea. I got mine from Superdrug for £5.29. 

K.I.S.S.I.N.G Stoned Rose by Charlotte Tilbury

Today I am excited to share with you my thoughts on the K.I.S.S.I.N.G Stoned Rose by Charlotte Tilbury lipstick.
Product description:
K.I.S.S.I.N.G is my signature range of 10 lipsticks curated with modern and classic icons in mind. It is a capsule colour wardrobe of backstage nudes to red carpet reds made to suit any skin tone. Perfect, full, kissable lips really do grow on trees…
• The Lip Stick Tree loves your lips, protecting them from UV damage and fighting oxidative stress so that lips are left soft, pert, soothed and hydrated. A tropical plant originating from America, the plump yet prickly red fruits appear like pouting lips that blow kisses at you as you walk by. The colour from its seeds was originally used by Indigenous American people to paint and protect their lips.
• Also contains light-diffusing pigments that give lips a brilliant, luminous, multi-dimensional finish - they capture the light across the lips and reflect it back out for a full-bodied effect.
• A special blend of waxes means this lipstick is a dream to use and glides over the contours of your lips. The result is colour rich and buildable, the formula does not bleed outside the lip line.

I had been lusting after a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick for a while but at £23.00 per tube I saw it as a treat. Charlotte Tilbury is a celebrity makeup artist who has created her own makeup range which has a reputation for luxurious, high quality products and it was actually a makeup artist who introduced me to her products. 
 I'm very fussy with lipsticks as I like corals and nudes, I very rarely wear dark lip colours as they simply don't suit me. I had viewed the range online and had settled on the matte lipstick range and the shade Very Victoria but when I tried it on at the counter it felt very dry, so I tried on Stoned Rose and it felt and looked amazing. 

The lipstick glides on and is very easy to apply, the packaging feels and looks luxurious and once applied it appears to be long lasting. Charlotte recommends applying this with her lipstick brush and using the matching lip liner before applying the lipstick but I'm no fan of lip liners as I think they look unatural and I prefer to apply lipstick straight from the bullet. 
I would describe the colour as coral with a high shine finish and I find it a very flattering shade that matches my skin tone, it also claims to make the lips appear larger due to light reflecting technology but I haven't noticed a difference. 
It feels moisturising and it lasts a long time, but is it worth the price tag? Overall I find this is a very nice lipstick and it's certainly luxurious but I'm not convinced by some of the bold claims it makes. Would I buy from Charlotte Tilbury again? Yes I think I would although it would have to be a treat!

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Disclaimer by Renee Knight

It's been a while since I've done a book review, so today I thought I'd share with you, my thoughts on the novel Disclaimer by Renée Knight.

I'm a big fan of the thriller genre, having read just about every popular thriller novel of recent times and I had seen this slowly creeping up the bestseller charts for weeks until I finally bought a copy. The comparisons to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train are typical - why must every thriller novel be compared to these books!? The synopsis sounded very appealing though. Catherine, the female lead, finds a novel in her house, not knowing how it got there and once she starts reading it she quickly realises that the book is written about her and so starts off a chain of events which sees the reader travel between 2013 and 1993 as four characters tell the story from their perspectives. We soon discover that happily married Catherine may have had an affair on a family holiday which ultimately led to Jonathan, her lover's death. Jonathan's father then seeks revenge, blaming Catherine entirely for the death of his son. 

We then discover that Jonathan's late mother was an author who discovered some very questionable photos of Catherine in compromising positions that she had developed from Jonathan's camera after his death. This inspires her to write memoirs about the incident, making up her own version of events which blames Catherine for everything. Jonathan is perfect in his parent's eyes and they truly believe he is incapable of harming anyone. Jonathan's father turns the memoirs into a novel entitled The Perfect Stranger and sends a copy to Catherine, her husband and her son and even delivers piles of them to her work which in turn leads to her having a break down. 

  I found that this novel took a while to get into the real action but once it began, I was unable to put it down, each night I stayed up late desperate to find out what happened next, it is very unusual
 for a novel to grip me in such a way as Disclaimer did!

This is a novel that will stay in your mind for a while, with plenty of twists and turns, the reader is torn between feeling sorry for the old man who is threatening Catherine and wondering whether she is covering something up or if she's as innocent as she first appears. This book keeps you guessing right up until the last few chapters with a twist that will leave you questioning all the characters. For a debut novel this is seriously impressive, I did not want to finish it. It will be difficult to find a book as good as this and I would highly recommend this to everyone who enjoys the thriller genre.


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama mascara

I never miss an opportunity to try the latest mascara and the new Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama was no exception... 
The first thing that drew me to this mascara was the packaging which is very girly, bright and shiny, although I did find it quite deceiving because it looks as though it is double ended and has two wands but it only has one. So what does it claim to do? 

Will you dare to get the Push Up Effect? Our 1st Push-Up brush with Cup-Shaped bristles boosts and thickens lashes.

The formula Instantly plumps & volumises the look of lashes, with Styling Wax to keep them lifted.

Intense black colour for a dramatic, sultry look.

Result: A luscious pair of plumped up, full, thick lashes that last all day and night!

How to Use
Starting at the roots, sweep wand through lashes. Apply as many coats as required for desired look. 

Upon first impressions I thought the brush was really big compared to my other mascaras, it is a plastic wand with tiny cups bristles on it which I much prefer to the traditional brush wands as I feel plastic wands are much more effective and easier to use and also achieve a much better result. 
I found that the formula was very waxy, I know it has styling wax in to hold the curl but this is just silly, it made it difficult to apply the mascara from root to tip without it clumping. Even after just one coat, I felt as though my eyelashes looked clumpy and after a third coat my eyelashes were stuck together and I had to use an eyelash comb to separate them.
 I also found that the formula was very wet which meant that it kept catching on my skin and eyelids, I also noticed that it had a strange smell which I have heard other bloggers describe as similar to chocolate but I just found it weird. I found the best way to apply this was to look down and instead of zig zagging the brush, I gently swept in an upwards motion. It definitely pays to be light handed when applying this mascara, as I found when I applied too much or was a little heavy handed, it didn't work. Here you can see the end result after applying three coats, applied on different days to see if the result was still the same:
Whilst I found that the mascara made my lashes longer, it definitely did not give them volume which is what it claims to do, therefore I think this mascara would be better advertised as a lengthening mascara but not for volume. However, you can use two different mascaras at the same time to achieve your desired look, for example, I use one for length and one for volume, or if you're lucky enough you might be able to find one which does both and the closest mascara I've found to perfection is the Seventeen Falsify HD. Overall, I am disappointed by this mascara, especially when everyone is raving about it and Maybelline is really going all out with their promoting of this. 
Close-up, as you  can see it is very clumpy 
I love Maybelline mascaras and I was really excited to try this, but every now and then they do get it wrong and release a mascara that doesn't quite hit the mark and unfortunately this is one of those mascaras, I feel that the formula could have been so much better and they really didn't need to add the styling wax as this is what makes it clumpy although this is clearly the product's unique selling point. I have no issues with the brush though, which is brilliant but this time it's a thumbs down from me.