My 11 Must Have Beauty Products for 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I decided against doing a monthly favourite post this month in favour of a yearly round up.
Can I just say whittling down a list to eleven products was not an easy task!
The items are in no particular order that would have been mission impossible (slight exaggeration).

Tangle Teaser
It is always a good sign when you can not imagine life without something.
This more than applies to the tangle teaser, I have thick unruly hair
and this little gadget makes light work of de-knotting my hair
as is it gentle to the hair and scalp.
I'm such a fan that I bought all the women in my family one.

Mac Angel Lipstick
Yes I know it is the shade that Kim Kardashian made famous
but lets look that aside please as it is a really pretty shade.
I guess we all have the one lipstick that when in doubt we reach for?
For me it is Mac Angel, it is my comfort blanket lipstick
and the only Mac lipstick shade that I have repurchased time and time again!

Philosophy The Present
This is a fairly new product to be welcomed into my daily routine.
It is a priming lotion that disguises and blurs fine lines/enlarged pores
all the while providing a velvet soft base for you to apply make-up on top of.
Unlike some primers this does not contain silicon so it feels rather light on the skin.

Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara
Quite possibly the best mascara invented...well in my opinion anyway!
It lengthens and adds volume to my eyelashes like no other
and unlike some it does not smear nor flake.
I am distraught that I am on my last tube and that it is not available in the U.K.

Mac Mocha Blush
Mocha? Does anyone else think of an errm brown shade when they see/hear the word mocha?
Well Mac Mocha is a dusky pink shade that has to be the easiest blush for me to whack on and go.
I completely bought this shade on a whim but as you can see from the huge dip in the centre,
that it has more than been used and loved.
Maybe the lesson here is it pays to be a brave and test shades that are not your normal go to's?
Sorry I don't have an individual photography of Dallas mine has now went to Make-Up Heaven and waiting on me
to repurchase it, which I will as soon as the sales are over!
Benefit Dallas Blush/Bronzer
I have to restrain myself with this boxed powder otherwise I would wear this daily.
Such an odd shade in pan form, a sort of bronzed plum hue!
Yet once on it gives a healthy bronze glow without any traces of orange.
I more than highly recommend this shade!

Boots Pore Perfecting Deep Clean Mousse 
The entire Pore range is fabulous but the facial foam wash is outstanding!
I have completely used up two whole bottles of this stuff since discovering it.
Okay my pores are still semi visible but it has been a huge improvement
and blemishes are a thing of the past!

Mac Rubenesque Paint Pot
I am not the biggest eyeshadow wearer in the world
but I love the simplicity and multi-tasking values of Mac Paint Pots.
As you will more than likely know you can wear them as an eyeshadow,
a base or depending on the shade you choose a blush/highlighter or eyeliner.
My to go to is Rubenesque, a golden peach shade that looks

Victor and Rolf - Flower Bomb EDP
Strictly speaking my signature scent is of course Thierry Mugler Alien
but this year I have had a dalliance with Flower Bomb!
I have finished my current bottle but I think my Christmas gift vouchers may go towards a re-purchase!
Such a yummy scent!

Philosophy Kiss Me Tonight
This is a miracle lip product.
If you have cracked or flaky lips, slick on a fine layer of this before you go to bed
and once you awaken your lips will be as good as new!

 Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation
My foundation for 2011!
Yes I had a dabble with Estee Lauder Double Wear and others
but for me this has been the foundation that won my heart.
It is light to touch, blends like a dream and it covers every little fault.
What is not to like?

What products did you love in 2011?
What are you excited to see product wise in 2012?
For me it is Naked 2, Mac Naturally Collection and Benefit Hervana!











Cargo Beach Blush in Miami Beach - Review

Friday, December 30, 2011


Something about this blush, perhaps the set up of four shades reminds me of Mac's Brunette MSF.
Four pretty bronze shades in one pan but unlike The Brunette MSF this is not limited edition
so should you fall in love you won't have to search high and low
nor will you have to pay through the nose to obtain one!


Yet again Cargo has housed this blush in a bulky steel case which is undoubtedly protective to its contents
but looks far too industrial and cold for my personal tastes.
Luckily for me you can depot these rather easily without any heat or excessive force
and once de-potted they are slim and sleek as you can see above.
Now if only I could settle on which freedom style palette to purchase to house them inside ...hmm?

Cargo Miami Beach Blush has four separate shades that you can use alone 
or swirl together to form one shade.
Once swirled together they merge and form a mid golden bronze.
I don't have a blush brush small enough to use these shades as individual blush shades
but it would easily fit an eyeshadow brush, doubling your products use!
The four shades of Miami Beach are all shimmer based, warm and bronze toned.
Like I mentioned they are warm and do gleam slightly golden/yellow.
There is something about this colour palette that reminds me of sun burn, 
I think it is that deep red based bronze which is very similar to Nars California now I think about it.



Compared to matte version I reviewed Tenerife - link this isn't as strongly pigmented
which isn't a completely a negative aspect as it is a frost/shimmer based cheek shade.
Sometimes if an cheek product that isn't matte is really pigmented it can make blending an nightmare.
The level of frost/shimmer in this particular shade is near to perfection 
as it has just enough to provide a subtle glow and highlight the cheek bones 
without turning into a glittery mess.
I found this to wear for around 8 hours before succumbing to my oily skin,
if you prep and prime your skin you will most definitely prolong the wear time.

Miami Beach is quite hard in terms of texture so there is little fall out from the product,
however as it is quite dense it can take a little bit of work to achieve the desired shade.
As the pigmentation isn't the best I do suggest this shade for the fairer skin tones
particularly those who find typical bronzers to look muddy on their skin. 
As Cargo Miami Beach adds a subtle flush of colour without ever looking muddy or dirty 
but I don't recommend using this to contour as it is not matte!
This could also work as a lovely warm highlight shade for darker skins.

Product Summary 
Round Up - A subtle golden bronzer that is warm in tone that is shimmer based.
Best For - Fair skins that are looking for a natural bronze flush of colour without any of the muddy tones
that some bronzers may have
Pigmentation - (5/10) Not completely poor just not suited to everyone.
                                         Availability - www.beautybay.com - link, £16.00 for 9g.





Revlon Life's a Peach Super Lustrous Lip Gloss Review

Friday, December 30, 2011



Revlon is the one company that has changed my views on lip gloss (doesn't that sound like a cheesy advert?)
up until as late as last month I loathed lip gloss, I deemed it sticky and totally unessential
but lately I have been layering Revlon lip glosses over lipstick like there is no tomorrow!


I will begin by saying I am unsure if these are about to be discontinued or in-fact have been
as I can't actually source them on Revlon's website nor Boots web page
yet they are still available in store hmm? 
I hope not as I really like the formula and the packaging is quite classic for a high street brand.


Anyway Life's a Peach is a slightly dusky toned peach with warm tendencies,
it has a slight duo-chrome effect, when viewed up close you can see slight golden reflections.
Life's a Peach is slightly shimmery but has no visible glitter or shimmer chunks once applied.
The shimmer aspect only helps to make lips appear fuller and larger.
Although it is warm in tone it should work with just about everyone's skin tone 
as the shade is particularly sheer.



Like I earlier mentioned Revlon lip glosses are the only gloss I currently use, this is mainly due to the formula.
I dislike sticky, thick glosses.
 I need a gloss to feel light and almost undetectable in terms of feel.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Glosses are formulated rather well,they are thick but not overly so, 
just enough so they glide on and stay in place without slipping and sliding around the lip area.
They feel light and un-sticky on the lips (safe to wear on a windy day haha!)
and the scent is un-noticeable...great for sensitive noses!


As with most lip glosses the pigmentation is really nothing to write home about!
Life's a Peach delivers a sheer coat of colour but does not completely alter the shade of your natural lips,
at best it adds a hint of a tint with a high glossy finish.
Shades like Life's a Peach are best layered over a similar coloured lip stick,
perhaps to lighten the shade and add a glossy top coat.
Lip gloss does not last any length of time on my lips and this shade is no different 
with each application fairing for around an hour or so before requiring a touch up.

Product Summary

Round Up - A light glossy peach shade which is non-sticky.

Best For - Anyone who requires such shade and does not mind that the gloss is not highly pigmented.

Pigmentation - (3/10) I do think it is important to note that most glosses are not that highly saturated in terms of colour particularly the light shades.

Availability - I can't find these on the Boots/Superdrug websites but I did pick it up in a Boots store around a week ago. I have found the same shade on eBay for less - £2.25 inclusive of p&p - link




Korres Jasmine Lip Butter - Review

Friday, December 30, 2011



A little known fact is that I am allergic to cocoa butter
sometimes I become a renegade and have a flirtation with products that contain such ingredient
but it normally ends up with a nasty rash and tears...mmm sexy!
So when my friends rant and rave about butters of any cosmetic variety a little part of me dies inside
as I know I can't apply such products without turning into a monster of the rash-y variety.
Can you imagine how blinking excited I was when I learnt that Korres Lip Butters have no cocoa included
but are in fact an concoction of Shea butter and rice wax,
I have went a step further for you all and included the full ingredient list
in-case like myself you have an inversion to certain ingredients.


Korres Lip Butters come in two formulations one that is soft and potted, which are slightly easier to source
and a hard almost lipstick type of formula that is a little harder to track down (try Amazon).
Admittedly the latter is more hygienically sound but potted lip products don't really phase me at all.
I understand it is normal to be concerned about germs but as long as you don't share the product
and keep your hands clean before application I don't really see a problem occurring.
I guess if it really bothers you, you could use a lip brush to apply.


As well as being available in two formulas they also come in a range of scents/shades.
The selection isn't exactly vast but there should be a shade/scent to suit the majority of people.
I settled on the shade/scent Jasmine for my first purchase which is a nude beige tone pink,
that some what reminds me of Nars Lip Lacquer in Chelsea Girls
not an exact dupe but a more affordable alternative.
There isn't much I can really say about the scent of the Jasmine Lip butter
other than it is very synthetic and borders on smelling like plastic, nothing at all like Jasmine.
Luckily the scent is not strong and hardly detectable once applied
other wise I doubt I could actually use the Jasmine lip butter.

However what it lacks in scent it makes up for in formula!
It is super soft and literally melts on contact with the skin,
it feels luxurious and is the right constancy where it feels moisturising yet not heavy.
I don't find these as healing as say Carmex etc but they do a great job of keeping the lips
moisturised and comfortable throughout the day.
I find one application lasts just over a hour so they are not the longest lasting lip product available.


Korres Jasmine Lip Balm is not sticky at all yet it delivers a high sheen finish with a hint of colour.
It is not the most pigmentation shade in the world but it does deliver a little colour
which particularly looks good layered over another lip colour to add a dose of shine and moisture.
I found the Jasmine shade to work particularly well over Revlon Mauve it Over Matte Lipstick
not only did it change it from a matte formulation to a gloss finish but it also muted the shade a little.

Product Summary
Round Up - A soft soft lip balm that does not heal but instead adds a hint of colour and keeps the lips soft throughout the day.

Best For - Those who like tinted lip balms and do not need a balm to heal, shade wise it is a possible dupe for Nars Chelsea Girls Lip Lacquer.

Pigmentation -  (2/10) The shade Jasmine in-particular is really sheer and works best in terms of colour layered over another lip shade.

Availability -  You can buy these from feelunique.com - link for £5.40 and Asos - link  for £6.00 (£5.40 with student discount.) 6g of product.




Nars Galapagos Eyeshadow Review

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Does anyone else feel like a giant when they hold those tiny little dinky solo eyeshadows by Nars?
Seriously they are so small and cute, I can't help but utter Fee Fi Foo thumb...
Yep lame is thy middle name.


Anyway size aside Nars solo or individual eyeshadows if you prefer,
come encased in the standard black rubberised packaging that Nars are known for.
I like the simplicity of the packaging, the mono-chrome design is timeless and effortlessly classy
but I really don't appreciate that the rubber is a magnet for dirt and finger prints.
Put simply Nars products never stay clean for any length of time.



Galapagos is a rich golden chocolate brown shade that is warm in tone.
Although it is a warm shade I feel most could wear this particularly if they blend it with other shades
rather than wear it as an all over wash of colour.
The base of this eyeshadow is matte yet it is scattered with lots of tiny gold flecks of glitter.
In pan form it looks like a golden glittery slab of chocolate!
I do not have nor can I think of any dupes for this shade (there will be my brain is frazzled at the moment)
but for me it was one shade that my collection was crying out for!
You would expect that with this being a glitter shade that the fall out would be monstrous
but it is actually manageable particularly if you prime your eye lid before you apply the shade.

Formula wise for a eye colour containing glitter it is not at all gritty 
but has a soft velvet feel that most Nars eyeshadows tend to have.
The pigmentation levels are bang in the middle of the rating meter if you ask me,
the eyeshadow is neither weak nor superior in terms of colour pay off.
You can sheer it out with the aide of a fluffy brush 
or make the shade appear more prominent with the help of a good primer.
In terms of wear I really do feel this boils down to the individual,
I have oily skin so I hit around the 4-5 hour mark before it creases
yet if I use primer (I seem to bang on a lot about primer in this post) I can with ease achieve 8+ hours.

Product Summary
Round Up - A rich golden brown shade that is shot with golden glitter flecks.

Best For - I feel this shade works best blended with other eyeshadow shades, in my opinion it
works best with other neutral tones.

Pigmentation - (5/10) Like I said slap bang in the middle! Not the most pigmented of eyeshadows but it is far from being weak.

Availability - Nars counters, Nars website but if you live in the UK I suggest using ASOS - link as they offer free delivery and if you are a student you get 10% off. £16.50/2.2g