Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Too Faced The Return of Sexy palette review

I've had The Return of Sexy palette for quite a while now but I've postponed  writing a post about it till Halloween cause there's definitely something very gothic about the packaging which (call me a weirdo) looks like a minature coffin to me. Very pretty, but I'd definitely change the palette name into something more mood-appropriate. The Return of Sexy just doesn't seem right.

Before ordering the palette I saw it on numerous films on YouTube and it never occured to me that the design would suit my taste so much.
What attracted me to the palette was actually the fact that it consists of three independent, self-contained palettes with which you may create countless looks. These palettes look very similar to Guerlain ones which always make me drool but they are sooo expensive so I never buy them.
The Return of Sexy comes with a gorgeous eyeliner pencil which definitely needs a separate review and the Shadow Insurance eye primer and hidden behind the mirror, a set of  cards prompting the less imaginative users like me how to mix and match the shadows.
Upon opening I was a bit put off with the amount of shimmer in the palette and the warm tones of the browns didn't seem to match my complexion. All my doubts disappeared in the moment of application. I fell madly in love with the palette and there's absolutely nothing I don't like about it.
It's true that the palette is full of shimmer and sparkle but this shimmer somehow melts into the eye lids and never looks over the top.
The quality of the eyeshadows is truly amazing. They are all creamy and soft, cling to the eyelids well and blend beautifully. They are highly pigmented and retain their colour when applied over other shadows so they never turn muddy when blended, you can clearly see how one shade melts into another.  
And I don't think I need to say that when appplied over a primer these shadows last all day without fading or creasing.

Names of all the shadows are listed on the reverse of the box so I'll use them to refer to the individual shades.

Naive (top) is a pale yellowish beige, very frosty. In the pan seems to contain micro sparkle which doesn't translate onto swatches.
Ingenue(vertical left) is a brown shade with khaki undertones. The finish is glittery, it feels glittery to touch but it doesn't look like a typical glitter when applied. 
Innocent (centre) is a warm-toned brown with irridescent finish. I absolutely love this eyeshadow!
New In Town (right) is a gold shimmer.
Casting Couch (horizontal bottom) is rich dark chocolate brown with shimmer. Absolutely gorgeous, one of the most beautiful browns I've seen. Amazing colour payoff, looks true to the pan when applied over other eyeshadows. Never loses its chocolatey intensity!
l to r: Naive, Ingenue, Innocent, New In Town, Casting Couch

Pink Diamond is a pinkish beige highlight of satiny matte finish.
Icon is a very interesting shade, mid-tone purple with hints of pink and yellow. Irridescent finish.
Divorcee is a warm-toned, slightly brownish gray with shimmer.
Hopeless Romantic is a vivid reddish purple, again, with irridescent shimmer.
Primadonna is a very dark plum purple with reddish micro sparkle. This one is less creamy than other eyeshadows.

l to r: Pink Diamond, Icon, Divorcee, Hopeless Romantic, Primadonna
Here's what they look like combined:

7 Year Itch is a very frosty neutral beige highligh colour.
Bombshell is mid-toned silver with frosty shimmer.
Hollywood is a shimmery anthracite.
Maneater is a surprising shade in this colour selection. It's a warm shimmery taupe among cool tones. Surprisingly enough it looks really pretty as a crease colour.Of course you may also combine it with other shades in the palette.
Beautymark is a pitch black with silver glitter which is quite sparse and tiny so it isn't pronounced very much.

l to r: 7 Year Itch, Bombshell, Hollywood, Maneater, Beautymark

And a typical look made using all of these shadows:

As I've said, there's nothing I dislike about the palette, it seems perfect in all respects.
This palette is definitely intended for home use. It's too large and too heavy to be carried around in a handbag.

In their creaminess the eyeshadows resemble those by Sleek (eg. the Bad Girl palette) but they blend and apply far better.

This palette is my first encounter with Too Faced and I know that our relationship has only just began.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Happy Halloween!

Affordable make-up: Catrice gel liner #020 It's Mambo Nr.2 review

Here comes another review of Catrice gel liners. 
It's Mambo Nr.2 is more of a cream liner, I see nothing like gel about it. Upon opening it looked dried out, but the fact that it visually resembled parched earth in desert areas did not affect its performance at all.
The liner is super soft and creamy, it distributes very smoothly with my Inglot eyeliner brush.  
For fear of staining my contacts, I've never tried wearing a cream liner on my waterline and neither did I experiment with this one. On my lashline, however, it looks and performs great. This line produces thin or thick lines which are smooth and even. It doesn't claim to be waterproof, but it seems to be so. This liner is so creamy that it can actually be used all over the lid as an eyeshadow base.

The shade is very difficult to describe. It's a kind of cool-toned, grayish or taupeish brown with shimmer. It's nice, but I would very much prefer it to be a simple generic brown (I actually hoped it to be much more brown than it is in reality). 
I really like the Catrice liner and would definitely like to get more of these, but their colour range is so limited that for the time being I see nothing of interest for me.
This little jar cost about $4 and it's definitely a good value for money.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Vichy Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution review

I honestly don't understand the hype commected with micellar solutions. This is the second I've used (the previous one was by Bourjois) and they really didn't work for me.

The Vichy Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution is meant to be a kind of 3-in-1 product which cleanses, removes make-up and soothes the skin. Being a very gentle product this micellar solution definitely does not irritate my skin and thus it probably does have some soothing effect. But as far as removing make-up is concerned it simply doesn't work for me. It does not work instantly, you need to press and hold it for a while on your lids or cheeks to start dissolving the make up and even then it doesn't get close to what oil-based would do to your make-up. It simply takes too much effort, time, pulling and lid dragging to be classified as a successful make-up remover. 
The only way I can see it work is on those no-makeup days when I need to cleanse my skin before going to bed. I also use it to remove any fall out from under my eyes when doing my make-up. It's non-greasy so it doesn't make my mascara smudge, which is good but nothing to write home about.
I've almost used this micellar solution up and I'm considering getting the highly acclaimed Bioderma one just to know whether all micellar solutions are just a gimmick or their quality depends on a brand.

I'm definitely not going to repurchase the Vichy Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution. I'm really glad I didn't waste much money on it, it cost about $4 in a sale.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Korean goodies: Baviphat Apple Jelly lip scrub review

The very first thing you notice about Baviphat Apple Jelly lip scrub is its cute packaging. It's a tiny green plastic jar, the shape of which resembles a green apple.
It looks fun and it doesn't occupy too much space on your dressing table or in your hand bag (if you wish to take it with you).
When you unscrew the lid you'll notice pink grainy substance which has sweet, artificial smell of apples. I must say that the smell is a bit irriatting, but this aside Baviphat Apple Jelly lip scrub is a great pleasure to use. First of all, the pink substance is a very effective lip balm, moistusising, nourishing and long lasting. I have every reason to believe that the grains embedded in it are actually sugar. They are sweet, quite finely milled and they get dissolved as you massage your lips. When you're done the grains are gone and your lips are coated with a very nice lip balm.
I like it much more than my previous lip scrub by Tony Moly (click here to read my review).  Tony Moly Kiss Kiss lip scrub was harsher and less moisturising. Apple Jelly seems to be a kind of two-in-one product, and after Kiss Kiss I usuqally used some lip balm to complete my lip care. 

The bottom line is: I'll most probably repurchase.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Featured giveaway:Holly and Polish OPI Holiday 2012 Skyfall Collection Giveaway!

Dear readers!
I thought you might be interested in winning not one shade but the entire OPI Skyfall nailpolish collection in a giveaway held by Holly and Polish.
The giveaway is open to international readers, so click here if you want to enter!

Korean goodies: Skinfood Royal Honey Nutrition Massage Cream review

I thought I'd reviewed all the products available within Skinfood Royal Honey range, but the arrival of The Nutrition Massage Cream sample proved me wrong.

Once again I had the pleasure of testing a product which is both high quality and unique.
The Nutrition Massage Cream looks like an ordinary cream, it's yellowish white and smells faintly of honey.
As you massage it on your face, it turns to oil (in a very similar way to the cleansing oil by The Body Shop) which is very lightweight and leaves your skin incredibly smooth.
You can either rinse it off or leave it on your skin. I tried both ways. First time I used this massage cream in the morning, rinsed my face off, but it remained rather greasy throughout the day. Not the best solution for oily skin, like mine, but those of you with very dry skin may find it beneficial.
In my second I applied the cream before going to bed and treated it as a leave-on night pack and it worked fine for me. I woke up with my skin feeling supple and fresh. I feared such a cream or rather oil might cause breakouts, but nothing like that happened.
I won't be purchasing this cream full size cause it doesn't target my skin type. If I had dry or very dry skin, I'd instantly put it on my wishlist.

Disclaimer: I received this product as a complimentary sample for my personal use and I'm not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my personal opinion.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sleek Shangri-La collection: the Supreme palette review

I must admit that I'm not a fan of Sleek eyeshadows. Most people praise them for their pigmentation but pigmentation is not always the key, to me it's performance that matters more. And Sleek eyeshadows are not the best performers ever.

So you might wonder why I ordered another palette. Well, I'd read that the Supreme palette is a set of matte eyeshadows and I just couldn't resist giving them a go. Then I thought I should cancel my order so I made an enquiry whether my order was despatched ( it was marked as pending for over a week ) but nobody bothered to answer my e-mail or reply to my queries on Facebook. Instead, the palette suddenly arrived at my door while the order was still pending.

The Shangri-La set consists of a Supreme eyeshadow palette and truly mattely deeply matte lip gloss in Soul. While the gloss is worthless (read the review here), the eyeshadows turned out to be the best matte eyeshadows I've ever used and I've used MAC, Inglot, YSL, Stila to name but a few.

All matte eyeshadows were either powdery and dry or lacked pigmentation. Sleek Supreme mattes are extremely soft, but not powdery. They don't crumble at the touch of a brush, but cling to it. They seem to be almost creamy, I'd describe them as more satin than matte as far as their consistency is concerned but the finish is very definitely matte.
Sleek has also come upon a very practical solution for those of us who enjoy both matte and irridescent finishes. They included a white shimmery eyeshadow in the palette, which can be used both as a sparkly highlighter or layered over any of these matte eyeshadows to change the finish into pearl. Very pretty indeed.
I love all these eyeshadows for how soft and creamy they are. They blend perfectly. All the shades are saturated with colour. I generally prefer those on the left hand side but the greens and khakis are also nice.
So let's take a look at the first four: the blues. This is definitely my favourite set. 
Blue Suede (top left) is a very cool-toned baby blue,  R&B (top right) is a gorgeous navy blue, it's seems like it's got some tiny shimmer, but it's just the outer layer. In reality it looks as matte as all other shadows.
La Belle Blue (bottom left) is a pretty faded cornflower blue with purple undertones and Smokey Robinson is a very fair, almost whitish kind of gray.
The second quad seems less wearable to me because I don't look good in yellow-toned shades.
Bronx Black (top left) is a very dark brown, which still is one of my favourite colour in the palette. Looks pretty on its own and may be combined with a wide variety of other shadows to achieve different looks.
P-Funk (top right) doesn't appeal to me at all. It's a kind of very yellowish pea green, the swatch is more representative than the photo above. Al Green (bottom left) is a very pretty khaki colour with taupe undertones for those of you who look good in such shades.  Delfonic is the ugliest colour in the palette, kind of yellow-green, looks like fading edges of a bruise. If you want to look like a victim of domestic violence, apply it high on your brow bone and wear sunglasses. Inquisitive glances will be unavoidable.  
And the last set, dedicated to girls who like fun and bright colours. I don't see myself wearing any of these except the white one.
Grand Master Flash (top left) is bright, warm yellow, Wah Wah White (top left) is the only irridescent eyeshadow in the palette. May be used on its own or on top of other shadows to instantly transform them into pearly ones. Commodores Cream (bottom right) looks like pistaccio ice cream and Shangrilas Lemon is a very pale warm yellow, may be used as a highlight on yellow skin tones, on my skin it looks too obviously yellow.

Whether you like the shades or not is a matter of personal preference but qualitywise these eyeshadows represent the best matte formula I've seen. The palette was more expensive than the regular Sleek i-divine palettes but it's well worth the price. So if mattes are your poison, go ahead and grab your Supreme palette. This is a limited edition, so hurry while the stocks last!

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Phyto Phytobaume Eclat Couleur Express conditioner for coloured or highlighted hair review

I received this Phyto hair conditioner in one of my Glossyboxes and I tried it out on my freshly bleached hair.
This conditioner resembles a hair mask with it thick consistency. It applies well and seems to have highly moisturising properties, which make my dry and damaged hair manageable and smooth. There are no tangles or frizz after using this conditioner. I also noticed that it had a soothing effect on my scalp which tends to get irritated during bleaching. 
Smells nice.
I believe this is an excellent conditioner for dry hair and it's definitely too heavy for oily hair. I'm not going to purchase it full size cause I like to use products for curly hair and this one is not. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Urban Decay The Vice palette review

I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay eyeshadows, but I'm relatively new to their products and don't possess many of them, so I felt justified when I ordered The Vice palette. There are many things that I love about the palette but there are also plenty I'd change or improve.

Let's take look then at the palette. The first thing you notice is the packaging. The palette was packed in a cardboard boxwith the UD logo on one side and the images of the eyeshadows on the reverse. The eyeshadows come in a purple case which has a rubbery feel to it. It's non-slippery and feels nice to touch but it attracts particles of eyeshadows and dust and fingerprints are impossible to remove from the surface. In the centre there is a crystal logo. Not too bad, not very pretty either. I like the idea of luxury to be communicated to me differently, this seems a bit tacky.

Press the button on the front side and the palette will open automatically to reveal 20 eyeshadows which, according to the manufacturer, are all brand new both colour- and formulawise. I didn't notice anything new about the formula and I'm not good enough at UD eyeshadows to be able to say whether the shades are all that unique. But I can definitely say is that this is a very diversified palette in terms of textures, finishes, performance and the quality of the products included. 
The best performing shadows are those with pearl, shimmery finish. All of them are incredibly long-lasting, pigmented and easy to blend. I love every single one of them, with Vice (true purple in my opinion), Muse (very pretty dark brown) and Penny Lane (gorgeous gold) being my favourites.
I don't think I'll be using Blitz a lot. Too yellow for my liking.
Nevermind and Echo Beach are nice blending colours but they look too similar. If one of them were matte,  the presence of both of them in the palette would be justified..

top row: desperation, muse, jagged, blitz, penny lane
bottom row: junkie, chaos, occupy, unhinged, black market
Some of the glittery eyeshadows perform surprisingly well. Junkie and Occupy apply like a dream and blend well. What's more they belong to the group of the most unique eyeshadows in the palette. Junkie looks emerald in the pan but in practice it verges on blue, which makes it the prettiest peacock shade ever.
Occupy seems similar to Armor at first glance but actually it's dark denim blue. They contain sparkle but it's not so pronounced when applied and blended.
Armor works well when applied directly onto primer. Applied over other eyeshadows it somehow loses pigmentaion and doesn't cling to my lid.
Jagged, which is a nice kaki shade, is one of the worst eyeshadows in history. Powdery, fall-outy, barely pigmented, and full of glitter which flies in all directions.
Noise is a totally useles pink with silver glitter. I've never seen anyone look good in a shade like this. Some bloggers or Youtubers do insist on wearing pinks on their lids but they all look as if they were trying to conceal signs of domestic violence with make-up. 

top row: provocateur, rapture, vice, noice, armor
bottom row: nevermind, echo beach, anonymous, freebird, laced

The palette also contains a couple of matte shades and two satins.
Anonymous is a nice highlight, Laced makes a decent blending base and Chaos is a very unique royal blue. Very saturated with colour, definitely not for the faint-hearted.

I was very excited to see a faded black satin eyeshadow (Black Market), as this shade seemed particularly unique to me.  Unfortunately, it doesn't perform as well as I hoped it would. It's a bit hard, my brush fails to pick the product. What's more it's not that easy to blend and tends to look patchy sometimes.

Desperation is a dark gray satin with brown undertones. To me this is the black horse of the palette. At first I didn't even glance at this eyeshadow but once I tried it out I fell in love with it. It's amazing. Smooth, pigmented, blendable, and its unusual shade matches almost all other shadows in the palette.

So what would I change about the palette?
The shade range seems diversified, but in practice many shades are near dupes of one another. Pink shades like noise or Freebird are totally unflattering. And finally, there are too many glitters in the palette, I'd substitute some of them with those pearl/satin/irridescent ones.

Here go a couple of looks I created using the palette.
armor (centre) + black market (crease) after 8 hours of wear
nevermind (base)+ muse (crease) + desperation (outer corner). forgot to apply mascara
rapture (centre) + vice (crease) + laced (dowblended)
My favourite look. Very elegant and festive. I called it Golden Eye.
black eyeliner by MAC (all over the lid) + penny lane all over the lid + black market in the crease
black eyeliner by MAC (all over the lid) + penny lane all over the lid + black market in the crease + penny lane along the bottom lashline
occupy all over the lid + chaos on the lash line + blue mascara by MAC
occupy all over the lid + chaos on the lash line + blue mascara by MAC
And finally: a peacock eye!

chaos in the centre + junkie around it

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.