4 Cream Eye Shadows

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I’ve been loving cream eye shadows lately. Since I now get up at 6 am and travel all the time, I have very little time to get my makeup done in the morning. Living out of a suitcase also means that I can’t take much makeup with me. As a result, cream eye shadows have replaced powders and palettes in my makeup bag.

About a year ago I wrote a comparison of Mac Paint Pots and Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows (here) and concluded that Benefit’s shadows were my favourite. Unfortunately, they have changed the formula and packaging and the new ones CREASE a lot.

So I’ve been trying other brands. I wanted to share my thought with you.

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The first one is Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadows in Quartz. It’s a really shimmery pink shadow that blends really nicely and brightens up the eye area. I really like this product. It does crease after a couple of hours but other than that it’s really easy to apply and blend. The only problem is that they don’t come in many shades (10 in the UK). They are £15.

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The next one is Aqua Cream from Make Up For Ever shade 15. As you can’t get MUFE in the UK, I got a friend to bring it back from the US. I heard so much about these shadows so was really disappointed when I tried them. These things are so difficult to work with – they don’t blend and dry out in a second so you have to be really quick when you apply them. I also find it quite difficult to apply them evenly and they crease. I would not repurchase them. I think it was around £15.

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Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows were recommended to me by a girl at a MAC counter. She said they were the only cream shadows that don’t crease. I spend hours trying to choose a colour and finally decided on Velvet Plum. It’s a really strange shade – it has some glitter in it but is really subtle on the eye. I really love this product. It comes in a really small pot but I’ve been using it for several months and I still have over half of it left. It blends really well and DOESN’T CREASE. It’s very easy to apply and you can build it up to go from a day time to a night time look. They are £18.50 and come in many shades.

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Finally, I got Autograph’s cream shadow in Russet. As I mentioned in my haul post, I got this after watching A Model Recommends video and I have to say it’s brilliant. It does crease a bit after a couple of hours but it’s so easy to blend and the colour is so beautiful. As first I thought it might be weird to wear red eye shadows but with a brown eye liner they look really nice. The best thing about this product is its texture – it’s a soft bouncy mousse. Yes, I know it sounds strange but just try it and you’ll understand. Unfortunately they only come in 3 shades: gold, silver and this one. On the plus side they are only £7.5.

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Bobbi Brown and Autograph’s cream shadows are my favourite. They have been my staple products for the past couple of months. 

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Perricone MD Anti-Ageing Protective Trio review: Hypoallergenic Peptide Complex, Face Finishing Moisturiser, High Potency Eye Lift

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I got Perricon MD Anti- Ageing Protective Trio in April. Since I’ve used it up, I thought I’d do an updated review.

Here is what the trio includes:

Hypoallergenic Peptide Complex (30 ml – full size): it’s an anti-aging serum for sensitive skin. It’s ‘improves resilience, tone, and texture while minimizing wrinkles’.

Face Finishing Moisturiser (30 ml – full size 60ml): moisturising anti-aging cream. It reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles and improves radiance.

High Potency Eye Lift (5 ml – full size 15ml): and eye cream that lifts, brightens, tones and tightens the eye area.

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So does it work?

No.

I’m really disappointed with Perricone MD. I’ve used up all three products and didn’t really notice an improvements. Even though I’m 32, I don’t have wrinkles and use anti-ageing for prevention more than correction. So it’s always difficult to assess the long-term effects of anti-ageing products. However, I can see how it makes my skin look after a couple of weeks.

Some serums, such as my favourite Filogra, make your skin feel smooth and plumped. And they make a good base for your moisturiser and make up. Perricone MD isn’t one of them. The Peptide Complex made my skin feel rough in comparison to other anti-ageing serums. It felt rough and bumpy, tired and my pores appeared larger than before. I didn’t like using this product and for the first time couldn’t wait to finish the bottle so I can get back to Filorga.

The High Potency Eye Lift cream was even worse. It’s the strangest thing: this cream made the area around my eye darker. And I don’t mean the under eye area but the lids as well. I looked like a raccoon! I’ve never seen a cream do that before.

The Face Finishing Moisturiser was quite ok. Nothing to write home about, but it was a good product. The Alpha Lipoic Acid, one of the main ingredients, gives a tingling and ‘stinging’ sensation when you first apply to cream. But at least I had an impression it’s doing something. It’s a nice anti-aging moisturiser.

Overall, I was desperately trying to finish the three products so I could get back to my beloved Filorga. It’s not a good sensation to have when using three products that cost about £100 each. I’m so disappointed with Perricone and don’t think I will be trying their more expensive products anytime soon. It just goes to show, the expensive brands are not always the best.

 

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer VS Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm

 blams

Are you one of these people who can wash their hair, blow dry it in 5 min and go? I’m not. I need to plan washing my hair in advance as it takes at least 30 min to style. It’s as difficult as it gets: it’s really frizzy, thick, dry, damaged by heat straightening and wavy in all the wrong places.

I have been trying out a number of hair products recently as part of my never-ending pursuit of perfect, smooth hair. Here is a review of two of them: Elasticizer and Intense Rescue Melting Balm.

They are both pre-shampoo hair moisturising and softening treatments. You apply them to dry hair 30 min before getting into the shower and then wash and style your hair as normal.

The result: your hair is more manageable, softer and shinier. They are both really nice products and they really work. I wanted to do a comparative review as I know trying to find the right hair care product can be confusing. There are so many conditioners, oils, treatments, and masks available it’s hard to know which ones work and which ones don’t.

Elasticizer

This product has won a number of awards, for example InStyle Best Beauty Buys 2013: Best Deep Conditioning Mask. It’s a balm, similar in consistency to a conditioner. It costs £12.75 for 75ml and you get it at M&S beauty section or online (eg. Feelunique). It has castor oil, olive oil, and glycerine. All here ingredients help to lock in moisture and add shine. It also has silicones. Which obviously make your hair look better but are not the best ingredient for your hair in the long run.

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Melting Balm

This product is quite famous in the UK. It’s a solid balm that transforms into oil when you rub it between your hands. It costs £16.99 for 100ml and you can buy it in Boots in the UK. It does have a blend of 7 oils and butters.

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Comparison

Both products are designed for damaged and over-styled hair. Both are supposed to make your hair more manageable and lock in moisture. And both do. They are both really nice products. However, out of the two the Elasticizer is a much better product. Here is why:

The Elasticizer made my hair softer. It was smoother and nicer to touch. It was also less frizzy and easier to style. I could notice the difference particularly when it came to my dry and damaged ends. The hair felt healthier and less dry.

Here are some photos of my hair after using the two products: I let them dry naturally and didn’t straighten or apply any after wash products to give you a better idea of how the pre-shampoo products work.

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Overall, I think these products are really good if frizziness is your main/only problem. For my it’s the fact that my hair is just blah… not wavy, not curly, just blah. As a result, although I find that both of these products work and do what it says on the package, it’s not enough for me. My hair still requires heat styling to look good. But if your hair is frizzy and you just want to calm them down without changing the shape of your hair I would strongly recommend these products.

DHC Mascara Review and Comparison. You have to try it!

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They say you find love when you’re not looking for it. It may be true. I certainly wasn’t looking for the perfect mascara two weeks ago at Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Bazaar. I was just browsing and enjoying one of my favourite beauty stores… I started chatting with one of the ladies there and we discovered we both love DHC, a great Japanese brand. She recommended their mascara which I have never tired before. She said it’s ‘the one’. She was right. It’s the one I’ve been looking for. It’s called Perfect Pro Double Protection. It’s a lengthening and defining mascara but you can use it in a number of ways.

Super Long-wear Formula, Doesn’t Flake, Doesn’t Smudge!

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The amazing DHC mascara and Clinique High Impact: the one I used to love. DHC is better, hands down

The DHC website says that the formula “encapsulates lashes in polymer tubes that wear all day and night long”. This is actually true: this mascara wears like a dream. It doesn’t smudge even after 13h day (I’ve been having a lot of those lately). The lashes look great but at the same time they are flexible and not stiff like with many other types of mascara. The product lengthens your lashes and defines them giving you a very natural full lash effect. If you want a super false lash effect for a big night out, I would recommend using a volumising mascara and then using this one on top. The DHC mascara will cover your lashes with a protective layer that will prevent and flaking. Personally, I wear it on its own every single day.

So easy to apply compared with other mascaras, even my favourite Clinique High Impact.

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I recently bought a new tube of Clinique High Impact mascara. I used to love it but I do find it difficult to apply. With the Clinique mascara there is so much product on the wand when I take it out of the tube! I end up wasting most of the product as I always need to clean the brush to remove excess product. The super big brush makes the Clinique mascara really difficult to apply. I usually end up messing up my eye makeup. The DHC mascara tube dispenses just the right amount of product. It’s also so easy to apply thanks to the amazing wand I describe below. It’s just perfect in the morning when you’re in a hurry and don’t have much time to do your make up. All I can say is: try it and feel the difference!

The best wand ever! Use it on your top and bottom lashes.

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Smaller is better. DHC on top, Clinique High Impact on the bottom

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So much excess product on the Clinique wand on the left – none on the DHC wand on the right

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My favourite thing about this mascara is the wand. It’s so small and precise. As a result it’s easy to get all your lashes with it, even the ones in the corner of your eye that are so difficult to apply mascara to. You can also use this brush for both top and bottom lashes. It’s the only mascara I ever used that can do that.

I know a lot of people like Clinique bottom lash mascara. I tried it and think it clumps. Imagine you could have a mascara that not only works perfectly on your bottom lashes but you can also use it to make your top lashes look super long and defined… and all this for just a couple of pounds more than the Clinique mascara. Clinique Bottom Lash mascara costs £11 for 0.07 oz. DHC Perfect Pro Mascara costs £14.50 for 0.17 oz!

I can’t recommend this enough. It really is an amazing product and probably one of the most amazing mascaras I’ve ever used. You will be surprised to find out just how many lashes you have and how few of them your normal mascara covers!

If you don’t live in London you can always order it online here. Also I would strongly recommend DHC Cleansing Oil and their Eyelash Serum.

The Best & Worst Top Coat Review: Recent Purchases

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I recently got a couple of new base and top coats and found a new favourite. I also came across what I consider to be the worst top coat I’ve ever tried. I always assumed that top coats were one of those products where it doesn’t really make any difference what you buy as they’re all more or less the same. My recent experiments suggest the opposite.

Rimmel Pro Matte Finish Top Coat

I’ll start with my new favourite. I’m completely wowed by this top coat. Matte nails together with textured nails have been all the rage lately. Avon, Nubar, Nail Inc and other companies have started making matte nail polishes. Some worked well, some chipped. Then, matte top coats were introduced: top coats that transform any nail polish into a matte finish one by removing all shine from the surface of the nail. Nails Inc, OPI, Butter London, Mavala, and Essia are amongst the companies that offer a matte top coat. Not being sure if I like this look or not I decided to start with a cheaper alternative: Rimmel Pro Matte Finish Top Coat (£4.59 at Boots).

Turns out: I the effect it gives. I think it makes this colour look much more sophisticated and gives it an interesting twist. Also, it’s great to have the option to transform all your nail polish into matte ones is something that really excites me. It also allows me to play with the finish and used one polish with two different finishes at the same time.

On the photo below you can see China Glaze Dress Me Up with the Rimmel Pro Matte top coat.

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Dress Me Up with the matte top coat and a couple dots of Dress Me Up without the top coat for comparison.

No 7 Stay Perfect Top Coat

I tried this top coat a couple of times and it worked fine with a mono-colour mani. It’s not an amazing product but it works OK. Yet, when I tried to use it as a top coat for a nail art mani it smudged the colours. I was really surprised as all the layers were dry. Below is a picture of my snow leopard nail art with this top coat. You can see that the layers are smudged on my pinky. I applied the Sally Hansen Double Duty top coat on other nails straight after that and it didn’t smudge. I have never seen a top coat smudge a mani before so I this is the worst top coat I’ve ever tried (£6 in Boots).

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I was silly enough to delete other photos of this.

Avon Super Shock Max Mascara: Great Alternative to High-end Brands

Avon Supershock Mascara

Avon Super Shock Max: before and after

Avon Supershock Max

Mascaras… a good one can make a huge difference. A bad one smudges and glues your eyelashes together giving you the dreaded ‘spider legs’ look. It’s my biggest pet peeve when it comes to make up.

I have to say I’m very picky when it comes to mascaras. I like the ones that separate eyelashes and lengthen them without clumping. My lashes are really long and thick so I don’t need too much extra volume. Clinique High Impact mascara is one of my favourite. From the drugstore brands I really like the L’Oreal Telescopic (the original one not the Telescopic False Lash Effect one).

Most experts suggest that you should throw away mascara after 4 months. This is due to the oxygen that gets inside each time you take out the wand. I also heard that you should throw it away when it stops making a popping sound when you open it. So I prefer not to spend too much on mascara.

I tried five Avon mascaras and really liked the Super Shock and the Super Shock Max. I got the Supers Shock Max which is the waterproof version of Super Shock and has a slightly different wand.

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No mascara

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Avon Supershock Max

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No mascara

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Avon Supershock Max

I really like it because it defines the lashes and separates them nicely. The brush is way too big for my taste and it can be a bit tricky to use, especially in the corners. However, the non-waterproof one is much better. Still, the final effect is good and comparable to L’Oreal or Clinique mascaras.

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Avon Supershock Max wand

Best thing about this mascara? It’s price.

While L’Oreal mascaras retails at £10 on average and Clinique High Impact at £16 and, you can buy Avon mascaras for £4. Not too bad. I found contacting an Avon consultant in the UK a bit complicated but once you found one ordering products is nice and easy. You can also buy it online but you have to pay £3.50 delivery charge on all orders below £20.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm vs EOS Lip Balm

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It’s a battle of titans! Both of these products have a cult following. These are by far the two most popular lip balms out there. It seems like almost every blogger or youtuber has raved about one of these products. While Nuxe is slightly more popular in Europe, EOS lip balms are a hit in the US. This is probably because Nuxe is a French company while EOS is an American brand. Additionally, up until not so long ago EOS lip balms were difficult to get in the UK.

 EOS Lip Balms

EOS stands for Evolution of Smooth. To be honest, I wanted to get an EOS lip balm ever since I heard the famous sentence: ‘EOS lip balms look a bit like…’. If you watch Ingrid, or missglamorazzi on youtube you know what I’m talking about ;). If anyone out there knows what the end of this sentence is please do let me know.

EOS lip balms are free from gluten, parabens, petrolatum and phthalate. They are 95% organic, 100% natural. I got the lime green one in Honeysuckle Honeydew. I’m not happy with this flavour as it smells more of cucumber than of honey. So I will be repurchasing this product in a different flavour. But other than that this is an excellent lip balm!

EOS lip balm works really well in terms of nourishing and moisturising. It might just be the best lip balm I have ever tired. It moisturises my lips for hours.  

One thing I really like about EOS lip balms is the packaging. On their web page EOS wrote ‘can a lip balm make you smile? We think so’. And it kind of does. It’s just so convenient. Lip balms are not rocket science so they’re generally easy to use but I feel like EOS has put a lot of thought into designing this product.

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NUXE Lip Balm

Nuxe Reve de Miel (which means dream of honey) lip balm is a hero product for many European youtubers and bloggers. NUXE is a fantastic French brand. I can’t recommend it enough. NUXE claims that they sell a Reve de Miel every 28 seconds throughout the world and that it tested the product formula in extremely cold conditions in Canada. It contains honey, plant oils, shea butter, and grapefruit essence. It smells of honey (clue is in the name) and feels really nice on the lips. It’s nourishing and helps to prevent chapping.

I have used this product for 9 months now. I really like it although not a big fan of the packaging. As it’s in a pot I only apply it when I’m at home. It’s not a product I would carry with me in a handbag although I know some people do. It works well for me as I use the Korres tinted lip butters during the day (review here).

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You can see that the product is a bit ‘chunky’

Comparison

Both products are really excellent. They are top of the range lip balms and you can’t go wrong with either one. They are both natural and paraben free. Nuxe lip balm costs about £9 and lasts a really long time. In the UK, you can get EOS lip balms from Naturisimo (here) for £5.99 with free delivery (couple of other online shops have them but you need to pay a delivery charge).

I like the EOS lip balms better for a couple of reasons:

1) The packaging is better and they are easier to carry around and apply on the go

2) The Nuxe lip balm can be a bit flaky or chunky sometimes. I find that it doesn’t go on so smoothly and every now and then there are chunks of product left on my lips

3) I find it works better under lipsticks or tinted lip butters.

 

If you haven’t tried EOS lip balms yet I strongly recommend them.

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