Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Satellite3

Satellite3 is Glauca Rossi's new line of makeup inspired by space.

They say:
Glauca has influenced many of the world's most celebrated make-up artists. Her passion for make-up artistry, superior quality cosmetics and the excitement of space exploration have all led directly to her newest cosmetics line, Satellite3. Inspired by her love of astronomy, advances of space exploration and the need for a healthy environment, the Satellite3 range is available in recyclable containers, no bigger than the palm of your hand and, of course, shaped like spacecraft.
"The colours reflect the comets, planets and stars" explains Glauca "and our luminous powders accent the body and offer stunning highlights for the eyes and cheeks".

Glauca's reputation has been built in the pages of Vogue, Harpers & Queen and Elle as well as celebrities and models including Naomi Campbell, Jerry Hall and Meg Ryan.

My verdict:

It is a truth well known among beauty bloggers that we are all suckers for pretty and original packaging, no matter how much we want to deny it (MAC Hello Kitty anyone?). Therefore, this brand may appeal to those with a fondness of 'futuristic' gadgets and unique pieces. I am sure that a rocket shaped lipstick will attract a lot of attention when touching up your makeup on the tube ;).

Personally, this is not something I am particularly interested in. Although I like the idea of recyclable packaging, I do not think it is very practical to have a palette that only holds two shadows, while others sit in bulky plastic wrapping.

However, the shadows themselves are lovely! Since they are somewhat expensive(2 shadows and saucer packaging for £25, and refills for £7.50), I was expecting great quality, and I was not disappointed. Each shadow holds a generous 4.5ml and is extremely soft, pigmented and blends beautifully, the only drawback being the plasticine smell. The colour range is great, and I like the original names given to each shadow, which makes it easier to keep track of what you have.L toR: 2004 Fly Me To The Moon, 2030 Global Poshover, 2022 Black 2 The Future, 2023 Hyper Drive Me Crazy.
Bottom: Lipstick in Rosewell Belle

The rocket lipsticks (£15.99) also come in an interesting range of colours (including blue and violet) and finishes (including gloss). I tried Rosewell Belle, which was creamy, richly pigmented and long lasting. This is definitely the kind of lipstick that can be worn sheer or built up to an intense finish with a couple of coats. The website describes this as their 'tone on tone technology leaving you to decide the impact; so for more intensity just apply another layer'.

Overall I am pretty impressed with this range. It is good to see make-up artists designing their own lines and keeping them original, unlike the many brands we have seen sprouting up on YouTube.. ahem. Although the packaging for this line may only appeal to a niche market these cosmetics are of a high quality and I think they would make a fun present for any sci-fi lovers out there :).

What do you all think? Would you buy something that was bad quality, just for its great packaging or something of a great quality with tacky packaging? Does packaging lure you in every time or do you try and ignore it?

My romantic long weekend in Lille.

Those of you following me on twitter may know that my lovely bf surprised me with a trip to France for Valentines day. Unfortunately we could not go until last weekend as he studies medicine so does not get very much time off around Easter. As I have not updated my blog for a while I thought I would share with you some pictures from the trip :).
On Friday morning we got up at 5am to catch the Eurostar, yawn! When we left London it was raining, and when we arrived in France it was pouring so we spent most of the day in museums and art galleries, as well as drinking plenty 'chocolat chaud' to keep us going. We also found a street full of dinosaur babies.. grrr.Thankfully our hotel was right in the main plaza (about 20m away from Sephora hehe) so after a lovely seafood dinner we decided to get an early night.

This is a picture of the makeup I wore on the second day and our room in the background. It had really old french furniture, which I love!

On Saturday we had an early breakfast at the hotel and went to explore. We visited the old citadel and the zoo. I love animals so it was a lot of fun!
(This photo reminds me of comparethemeerkat.com. If you live in the UK you will know what I mean hehe).

We then went to a fare, where my bf showed off his shooting skills and won me a giraffe, which is my favourite animal.
We then took a bus tour through town.We finished off our day with dinner in the student quarter and cocktails in a trendy bar.He loves taking awful action shots, I do not remember what was going on here, but this is a perfect example.. eek!!

The next day we visited a market and relaxed in the sun with a couple of tasty ice creams :). Surprisingly we were upgraded to first class on the way back so had plenty of champagne and wine to make the homeward journey more pleasant :). I hope you all had a lovely Easter break!! <3

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Glitterati

With my love of anything sparkly I was excited to try out Sleek's (available in Superdrug) newest product- Glitter Dip It liners, please check out their website here.

These come in 5 different shades and at £3.42 each are quite the bargain! The brush applicator is thin enough to draw a precise line, which is important as it gives you enough control. The formulation itself is clear and is infused with small glitter particles with light-reflective pigments. Once these babies dry they do not smear or transfer, which is very good news!

I find these very similar to Urban Decay's heavy metal liners, but these are of course a fraction of the price and have smaller glitter particles (UD always lets us down with the chunky monkey glitter, especially in their e/s, but that is another story!).

Swatches without and with flash (note: these are very generous!).
From Left to Right:
Ice (Silver), Steel (Charcoal), Caribbean (Blue), Gem (Purple) and Diablo (Pink).

My favourite way to wear these to brighten up a look is just along the upper or lowerlashline to add subtle sparkle :).

Sugarsweet


Straight after the Body Shop event I am sure you have all heard a lot about I rushed to MAC to purchase the sugarsweet collection. Unfortunately as I have been away in the countryside, sans my beloved laptop and reliable internet connection, I was unable to post these photos.

I am sorry these are so late, but here is my take on the collection ie. NOT inspired by the horrible promo image.. really MAC, you should know better!
Cheeks:
Perfect topping MSF
Well dressed blush

Eyes:
Aquavert all over lid
Club in crease
Stars'N'Rockets on lower lashline
L'Oreal Voluminous mascara

Lips: Bubbles and Saint Germain

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Tea Tree Oil

During my teenage years I suffered with breakouts, nothing severe, but frequent enough to bother me (I think we all know that feeling of "Oh no, I have a spot!! I am not leaving the house!"). I kept thinking that it could be much worse and I should just be patient and wait to grow out of it. I am now 22 and still get breakouts all the time, especially just before 'that time of the month' we all love :(. I still have the skin of a teenager (and not in the good way), so I recently decided to return to an old favourite- tea tree oil.

Tea tree has a long history of traditional use. Australian aboriginals used its leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, and infections as it has antiseptic and antifungal properties.

People use tea tree oil for the following conditions:

  • Acne
  • Athlete's foot
  • Dandruff
  • Thrush
  • Periodontal disease
  • As an antiseptic
So to treat a particularly nasty breakout recently I used Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil Blemish stick. Staying at my boyfriend's house in the country, with a very limited bag of rescue remedies, I applied this gel religiously twice a day. It does not smell too strongly and sinks in immediately so make-up can be applied straight away. I was a little hesitant at first as I thought that it would be a little too harsh on my sensitive skin. However, I was very pleasantly surprised as it significantly reduced swelling and redness without drying my skin out and creating that unsightly crust that most blemish treatments tend to leave behind, which in my opinion looks even worse than a spot! Yuck!

If you are having trouble with controlling blemishes I would give this product a try. It really does speed up the clearing process without drying the area out as it contains tea tree oil (obviously), allantoin to soothe and panthenol to moisturise the skin. This has worked so well that I may try returning to more of my past favourites, why change a good thing right?

What do you guys use for a particularly nasty breakout?

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Haircare Ingredients- is 'natural' always better?

There has been a lot of interest recently in potentially harmful ingredients in haircare so I decided to do some research online and of course test out a new product on my hair.

What I really wanted to know was if these 'bad' ingredients are really harmful, or if the hype was just another way of making us buy new products by scaring us into believing that 'natural' is better. Though come to think of it, everything is natural as it comes from nature. It wasn't just created by alchemy (as Wayne- gossmakeupartist always reminds us)!

First of all I am going to quickly go through some of the ingredients that have been the cause of much heated discussion.

Parabens- These are used as preservatives that attack any bacteria that may form in toiletries. Although they are made synthetically for use in commercial products they occur naturally in blueberries, prunes and cinnamon. The main issue with these is that they can imitate the effects of oestrogen on a very weak basis (breast cancer risk), though studies have been inconclusive.

Petrochemicals- eg. mineral oil and silicone. These act as smoothing agents, but repeated use can lead to build up causing blocked pores and lank hair. More importantly petrochemicals can be absorbed through the skin and scalp, and then human organs and tissues. In high quantities over time these chemical agents can lead to nerve, liver and brain damage, birth defects, acute asthma, and even cancer.

SLS- eg. sodium lauryl/ laureth sulphate. This is used to make toiletries foam and create a 'nice lather'. However, as it is a harsh detergent for some it may be an irritant and aggravate conditions such as eczema.

Some frightening stuff, though we have to be careful to keep our fears in proportion. These ingredients are all FDA approved and so far no serious harm has been found to be caused by the small amounts added to our toiletries. Most results have been inconclusive, but it is always sensible to be aware of potential dangers.

So with this in mind a few weeks ago I switched to the 97% natural (really don't like that term) NAKED haircare brand sold in Boots. At £3.91 e
ach for shampoo and conditioner I wanted to see how an affordable 'harmful ingredient free' range would compare to haircare I had previously used such as Pantene, John Frieda, Head and Shoulders etc.

I used the Naked Rescue shampoo and conditioner for two weeks (which may already tell you something). Originally I had very high hopes for this line. The smell of the products was lovely and the blurb on the back really did make me feel as if I was treating my hair to something special. I was also happy that they did not test their products 'on Lassy, Skippy or Bambi' :).

The shampoo did not lather well, as was expected, but I did not find it a problem. However, after rinsing it out I felt that my hair was literally squeaky clean. I am not even joking, it squeaked! The conditioner was too thin and I did not feel t
hat my hair was at all nourished. Since my hair is long and wavy it is a nightmare to detangle and these products made it so much worse. It was a big, knotted, dry mess and I had to rip the brush through or else put in lots of leave-in conditioner (which sort of defeats the point as the line is meant to be gentle on hair!). After two weeks of dandruff, frizz, breakage, split ends and painful brushing I gave up.

Sorry NAKED I really wanted to love you but it just did not work for me :(. However, I think that someone with greasy hair may like this product.

At the moment I have started to repair the damage with Body Shop's olive shampoo for normal/ dry hair which does contain sodium laureth sulphate (more gentle than lauryl), but is making my hair look shiny and healthy again!

If you have found any paraben etc. free haircare lines that have worked wonders do let me know lovelies!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

NC 45 Makeover

I had a really fun girlie evening on Wednesday night getting ready to go to a party with one of my best friends- Amina. She is Nigerian so her skin tone is much darker than mine and it was fun playing around with colours I would not normally use on myself. The theme of the party was OTT, decadence and glamour so she wanted a really heavy, dramatic pornstar-esque look. I hope you enjoy these photos :).I used:

Face- MAC studio sculpt
MAC MSF dark
blush- raizin and ??
highlight- MAC pro bronze powder (can't remember name)
contour- espresso eyeshadow

Eyes-
UDPP
MAC shadestick in sharkskin
silver from UD
knight devine, print, black tied, carbon e/s and a little violet pigment
MAC blacktrack fluidline
UD 24/7 liner in zero on waterline
red cherry lashes

lips:
MAC Saint Germain and lipglass ??

And the rest is tipsy history :)
Check out the ANTM poses ;)



Keeping to our purple and pink theme I wore a black and purple dress with black shoes that had a little hot pink detail at the side.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Mizzworthy's Illamasqua inspired contest


As you all know I love my dramatic makeup! When I saw Jenny's contest I thought it would be really fun to do a look inspired by a MAC picture I have been eyeing up for a while and think is beautiful and creative. This contest is about unleashing your alter ego, so I had to do something super editorial and bold with mile long lashes and heavy contouring.

Here is my inspiration:Unfortunately I did not have the right colours. For the life of me I could not find a yellow that was vibrant and ended up using a cheap yellow from a pallete I got from ebay. I packed on lots of it, but still it does not compare to the one in the original image :(. Also for the crease colour I used the pencil technique (check out Nireyna) and fig 1 eyeshadow. Being matte it was a total nightmare to blend and ended up looking patchy. Not my best work, but I thought I would post it anyway as I had fun doing it :)!
I used:

Face:
MUFE HD
MUFE lift concealer
MAC MSF natural in medium

eyes:
black L'ancome khol for pencil technique in crease
Fig 1., carbon, print, silly goose, bottle green, gesso, vapour e/s (all matte as there is no shimmer in the photo)
purple, yellow and cream from ebay pallete
Blacktrack fluidline
L'oreal voluminous mascara
red cherry lashes

cheeks:
Well dressed, tippy and full fuchsia blush from MAC

lips:
barry m lipliner (the really milky pink one)
barry m 100
MAC snob
MAC trifle lipglass
I think Maxie was scared of me.. hehe.