Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude Collection: Navy Nail Polish

When I bought the Navy and Nude eye palette I also picked up the limited edition nail polish from the collection in shade Navy (£11). This is my first polish from BB so I wasn't sure what to expect.

The colour is absolutely gorgeous, its a deep flat blue, which might be simplistic in nature, but they really have got the hue just right. Its exactly the right depth of blue to not look too bright and risk looking too daring for office work apparel, nor does it look too dark to make it not register as a blue.

Now onto the formula and I have a slightly mixed opinion, Its rather thick and has extremely good coverage so you can get away with one coat if you wish. I would also say that for someone like myself who has a very poor wear time with the majority of brands out there, this actually tops my favourite brands for long wear/less chips (Laura Mercier and Le Metier de Beaute).

However, because not everything can be perfect, the dry down time might well be the longest I have ever experienced, Its taken me a while to learn to leave this at least an extra 10 minutes than I would normally allow.
Though the drying time requires a new level of patience, I think the extremely good wear and effortless chic colour has made this a firm favourite and I will definitely look for future polish releases from BB.


I bought this from John Lewis

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Clinique new reformulated all about eyes shadows

The newly reformulated shadow formula comes out on the 2nd August in store, they are available in singles (£16), duos (£22) and quads(£28) but have already started popping up at counters. The shadows are meant to have a creamy application and smooth texture that delivers high pigment and long wearing colour.

Now I'll have to admit that I was never a fan of the previous shadow formula, I found the quality variable, with some having low pigment, unable to blend well and lighter colours prone to looking chalky coupled with a lot of colour fading even with a primer.

There weren't any testers out so I bought the one that looked the most taupe, Starlight/Starbright. Actually in terms of the duos all the colours were on the neutral, easy to wear side.
Both shades have a golden toned shimmer, though nothing over the top. The larger pan is a clay/beige with a hint of taupe and the smaller pan a medium taupe.

So of course the question is, was the reformulation a success? For me the answer is Yes, from the duo I have, the texture feels smooth and applies as such, colours blend easily with one another so no effort is required, the pigment is very good and without a primer they do have quite a long wear.

Clinique are also bringing out an eyeshadow primer with the release which comes in different skin shades so I might give that a whirl as well.


I all too often get caught up with the higher end, less attainable brands, when in actuality the brands that I consider mid end and easily available at department stores such as the likes of Clinique, Clarins, Lancome etc are really starting to bring out some comparable quality products.

I bought this from Boots

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Hits & Misses from Benefit, Chanel, Guerlain, MAC and Tom Ford

As I don't get round to reviewing all the makeup I buy, I'd thought I'd do a round up of some of the good and not so good items I have. I've had these for a while now so my photos will be of used products unfortunately (shudders....)

Lets start on a positive note, first up we have MAC pro long wear blush in Stay be me (£20). It has a lightweight feel and smooth texture, it doesn't break me out or go on patchy like a lot of MAC blushers. Best of all is the colour, which is great for those of us with pale skin, as its a sheer peach with a very faint sheen.

I am also enjoying the shadows from Benefits latest re-vamp, Nude Swings (£15.50) is a sheer shimmery golden peach. Though its quite sheer, its nice for a brightening effect on the lid and has a smooth texture.
Both products swatched below, Mac on the Left.

I find the Chanel Rouge Coco's have a discrepancy in feel, with some much dryer than others. I'd say Gardenia (£24) is one of the less drying.

Its a medium rosy pink with a subtle golden shimmer. Though I would have preferred a more matte finish, I find this a great shade to give a polished, professional look and it also lasts extremely well.

and here is what didn't work for me.......

I had intended to pick up one of the new shades from the recent Chanel collection Revelation, but unwittingly picked up a re-promoted shade called Amour #166 (£21). I'm not a fan of a thick, sticky formula like Chanel's Levres Scintillantes but do like the good pigment and wear time so tend to pick one up now and again. The colour is a peachy pink with sparkle. Unfortunately it goes on very sheer, furthermore I do not get the longer wear I would expect from this formula at all and I am very quickly left with just silver sparkle on my lips.
Next onto Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipstick (£24.50) in #601 Romance (from the Spring 2013 collection). Though I have nothing against the formula which feels smooth with an average wear and offers good coverage, I was expecting a natural pinky nude. It applies as a very cool toned, somewhat milky pink with too high a frost finish.
Swatched below L-R: Gardenia, Romance, Amour

Finally we have Tom Ford Bordeaux Lust nail polish (£26)
The colour is a beautiful rich deep red wine with an average wear time.

My issue with this is the application as it goes on really patchy, no matter how many coats I use, I can still see unevenness.

I have heard that the seasonal releases since last fall have been a different formula so I might well try the nude or brown shade from this years fall collection but won't pick up any more from the regular line up.

So there you have it, congratulations and a golden star to you if you have read to the end :)

I bought all these items myself.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude Eye Palette

The limited-edition Navy and Nude palette (£48) is patterned with a black and deep blue design, it houses 8 eye shadows, is two-tiered and contains a mirror.

I really like the compact design as it makes it easily portable.
The palette contains the below shades:
Ivory Eye Shadow: cream/white
Cement Eye Shadow: greyed beige
Blazing Star Sparkle Eye Shadow: pinky, gold glitter, no real base colour
Beige Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow: Shimmery warm beige

Twilight Pink Metallic Eye Shadow: shimmery golden pink
Naked Eye Shadow: warm nude
Slate Eye Shadow: medium grey
Rich Navy Eye Shadow: deep navy.

Swatches below, first level,

Then lower level, I've swatched the navy shade wet and then dry to show the difference in colour payout.

Its been a while since I have bought from Bobbi Brown, I often find the neutral shadows to pull very warm on me so was pleased to see the mix of cools and warms in this palette. The majority of shades have a smooth texture and feel lightweight. Three of the shadows do feel dry, however they all go on nicely and easily blend with one another without the patchiness you'd expect from a dryer formula.

Its nice to have an array of textures and the palette allows for a variety of soft wearable everyday looks but the inclusion of the navy allows one to add that bit more drama to create smokiness if desired.
I am really loving this and its certainly made me want to have another visit to the BB counter soon.

I bought this from John Lewis

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette, 01 Pastels

A mere glance at the Clarins counter and I realised that a lot of their makeup has had a revamp. Gone are the silvered circular compacts and instead we have more sleek, stylish gold toned packaging.

I picked up the Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in 01 Pastels (£31) and it does seem that the formula is improved. Whilst pigment is on the sheer side (in keeping with Clarins natural, soft image) shades feel smoother and blend better than previously.

I don't tend to suit pastels but it was the combination of crisp pastels paired with a bronze that caught my attention.
The palette contains a shimmery cream, very sheer pink micro glitter, shimmery cool toned mint green and a satin finish bronze.
Swatched below dry

Swatched below with a slightly dampened brush

As is the nature of pastels the cream and green shades can have a tendency to look a bit chalky if over applied.
However, though I could have done with more pigment in the pink shade, I am really liking this as its very Spring/Summer appropriate and creates an effortless light and shimmery casual look.
Picture below is with shadows applied dry.

I have to say I am really looking forward to their Fall Graphic Expression collection, the model's look is sultry, yet really polished, details are here on Chic Profile.

I bought this from Boots

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Saga

Released with the Avant-Première collection, Saga (£24) is one of the Coco Shines that is meant to contain 30% more pigment than the original version.

I had previously bought Interlude from the collection which I found not as lightweight and less hydrating compared to the original formula and I have to say the same applies for Saga (is also
highlight dry patches).

It’s not to say there is something inherently wrong with this tweak on the Coco Shines, but they were brought out to be hydrating sheer lipsticks and I can’t quite see the merits of the inclusion of a more pigmented but heavier, less hydrating formula when Chanel already have more opaque formula's in the Rouge Coco and Rouge Allure lines.
In terms of colour, Saga is a warm medium pink, it has a somewhat powdery look about it and lacks the glossy shine of the original formula. Its pretty, though but no means a must have as far as I am concerned.
I'd say I have more hits than misses with Chanel, but this is unfortunately something I'd wished I'd not bought.

I bought this from Boots.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Lancome Alber Elbaz Hypnôse Doll Eyes

There was much excitement when news spread of the collaboration between Alber Elbaz and Lancome. The collection consists of four of Lancome's bests selling mascara, 3 shadow palettes, 3 singles and some false eyelashes.

Some posts I have read have stated that all the shadows in the collection are in the regular line-up, I couldn't see a dupe for this palette but as I am not oh-fay with Lancome, I'd be interested to know if this is the case?
I bought the least dramatic of the offerings, Hypnôse Doll Eyes palette (£38) with is adorned with a heart motif by Alber Elbaz.

A design feature I really like is that the palette is magnetised so that the little brushes don't fall out, which I think is a neat idea.
The palette contains a taupe/grey, black with a bit of sparkle, gunmetal grey, silver grey/beige and a very sheer pink with micro glitter. Apart from the black and pink, the other shades have a slight shimmer.

There is a variant in feel, some are smooth, whereas others feel dry to the touch. That said, they colours do apply well and I don't have any issues with blending them. Apart from the pink, the pigment is really good.
I am really pleased with the overall pigment and long wear time. For those wishing to create a classic smoky eye this is the perfect palette.

The mascara's in the collection are the same as those in regular line up but you pay the extra £1 for the limited edition packaging.
I found something strangely satisfying about having a matching palette and mascara (sometimes I'll lie them next to each other, because I am that strange).

I bought the Hypnôse Doll Eyes mascara (£23). It lengthens and gives thickness and is a very intense black. The only drawback is that its prone to smudge, so not best suited to warmer months.
One thing I should mention is that it contains a strong fragrance, it doesn't cause me any problems but I really can't understand its inclusion given that fragrance is cited as one of the main causes of skin irritation in make-up (and combining this with how sensitive peoples' eyes can be).
Still, fragrance issues aside, I am really loving these and will pay more attention to Lancome from now on.

I bought these from boots.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Lancome L'Absolu Rouge & Colour Fever Gloss

I think Lancome have adapted their image over the last few years, whilst still maintaining the classical, universally appeal, the products look much more modern with a sleeker design. I recently bought some of the Alber Elbaz collaboration products which I'll show you soon but today I wanted to show you some lip items that I was very pleased to be given the opportunely to try.

I received Topaze Extase #181(tomatoe red)
 Rubis Exquis #182 (cherry red)

and Grenat Delicat #183 (fuchsia)

All shades have a faint golden shimmer. These are without doubt vibrant shades. The colour is saturated, there is no messing about here. The below swatches is of two light swipes.
Unlike a lot of high pigment lipsticks these do not drag, instead you get a smooth application combined with a comfortable feel, neither do they have too much slip so that the colour migrates.They also have an excellent wear time. I always admire bold, daring shades on others, but seldom am I able to pull them off myself. Though I think the colours lush, I can't quite get use to the intense shades against my pale skin so I tend to wear these blotted down as a stain.

I also got a colour fever gloss in shade Precious Beige #206. This is my first gloss in this formula and I pleased that it was not thick nor too tacky/sticky. It feels hydrating and for a gloss has a very good wear time. The colour is a sheer beige with a pink opalescence and has a slight frost finish, nice on its own for a natural look or good as a topper in the middle on the lip to add fullness.

The lip products can be viewed at Harrods,  here

Disclaimer: These were sent to me for free for review purposes. All links provided are not affiliated.

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