LOOK Beauty Collection

Another new kid on the block! LOOK Magazine announced last week that they are launching their first beauty range. I think this is a brilliant idea and I’m surprised someone hasn’t beaten them to it. I picked up a few samples at the show last month and wanted to share my pics, and thoughts.

It’s a pretty comprehensive range with everything you’d expect – foundations, primers, blushers and more. For me the stand out product is the Double Hit Lip – lipstick at one end and gloss at the other. The shade I received is an orangey coral, which looks quite scary but is actually quite sheer.

The texture of the lipstick is nice, more like a balm and the lipgloss smells divine. These were used to achieve the very on trend bold pouts at the recent LOOK catwalk show (see the pics here). I’d be keen to try the red for a buildable crimson pout, with optional gloss finish.

As for the Statement Eyes shadows £4 each, again, not the best shades for me, but the textures are nice. Quite silky and satin-like.

 

I’d like to try their metallic shades – Lame and Luxe were used on the models in the show.

Other stand out products include the Ooomph Lashes mascara £7 and Holiday Glow highlighting Powder £8.

Available exclusively in Superdrug stores later this month. A donation from every product sold goes to cancer support charity Look Good… Feel Better.

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WOW lashes with 17’s FALSIFEYE Mascara AND a FREE Gel Liner

I’ve never used “cheap” mascara in my life. Don’t dismiss me as a make up snob, it’s all down to my Mum! She made the “mistake” of introducing me to Lancôme mascaras when I was 13 – after that there was no “downgrading” to Collection 2000, 17 or Rimmel – none of them could live up to the wonders that are Lancôme’s mascaras. Over the years I’ve had brief flirtations with Clinique, Dior and Benefit mascaras, always returning to my trusted Lancôme. 

Me, my scepticism and my elitist lash attitude decided to give 17’s new FALSIFEYE mascara a go. I was drawn in by the bright pink packaging and the FREE gel liner, oh and a million or so Boots points burning a hole in my pocket.  

17 says “Watch lashes transform into voluptuously thick, curvy lashes as the oversized brush coats each and every lash from corner to corner, root to tip without clumping. Lashes look fanned, volumised and falsified in an instant!”

I say, i agree  and I never expected to love this mascara but I blinking well do!

Everything about this mascara is BIG –the name, the chunky, bright pink tube, the results and unfortunately the wand. That’s my only criticism (believe me, I went looking for them) the wand is quite fat and cumbersome and I found it difficult to get in to the inner corners of the eye.

BUT it’s that same fat wand that makes this mascara quick and easy to use. A quick coating really does add heaps of volume and creates that wide eye look.

You really can create the doll eye look with this mascara, but you don’t have to. I’ve been road testing this mascara for a week now –day and night. You can vary the intensity of the look. One, quick coating is fine for the daytime look or layer two or three coats for a dramatic evening look.

Left shows one coat, right two

I wore it last Saturday night and friends did ask me if I had falsies in.

I expected major clumping and smudging, again FALSIFEYE proved me wrong – no panda eyes in sight, and it washes off easily with my usual face wash.

All this at the bargain price of £6.49! Available from Boots in Black and Brown.

I haven’t road tested the gel liner yet, but a quick swatch on my hand and it appears to be everything you’d expect from a gel liner – thick, black and long lasting.

Either I’ve been missing out all these years or highstreet brands have really pulled their socks up in recent years, either way I’m hooked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not turning my back on Lancome Hypnose, but FALSIFEYE will sit nicely next to it in my collection and will be my go to product when I want that extra va va voom!

Diary of a first time False Eyelash wearer

I said I never would, but I finally succumb to the false eye lash trend. I realise I’m seriously late to the party…  a party I never thought I’d be going to!  The thing is, I always thought I had quite good lashes. They’re long, could be thicker, but with mascara usually look pretty good. BUT now that everyone’s running around with giant Jessica Rabbit esq falsies, suddenly mine are looking a little deficient. The tipping point came a few weeks ago at a wedding when I realised that, other than the vicar, I was the only female without va va voom lashes!

False lashes have improved a lot in recent years, they don’t really look that false anymore, unless you apply them Katie Price style. Friends had warned me off the strip lashes and recommended individual ones; they take a little longer to apply but tend to look more natural.

I was stunned how many eye lash options there was out there – long, short, black, brown, sparkly, CURLY… it was like a sweet shop! I settled on Eyelure’s Individual Lashes. I wasn’t looking for a semi-permanent option, but I figured, if I’m gonna do it, I might as well get a few weeks out of them. This pack has a selection of long, medium and short lashes. You can get all one size but for a first timer I decided to experiment with all 3.

Back home, a few hours before a night out, I started the application process. As well as the eyelashes, the pack contains a veil of glue, some removal lotion and the all important instructions. You’ll also need some tin foil and tweezers. In short, the instructions tell you to;

  1. Place a dollop of glue on the foil
  2. Use tweezers to remove a cluster of lashes
  3. Dip the “bulb” end in the glue
  4. Starting with the left eye, hold the fakie on to the root of your lashes, as close to the lash line (without touching it) and hold for a couple of seconds until attached.
  5. Repeat, from the outside in, until you’ve finished the eye, then move to the next one.

I found it a tricky to start with, but I am a beginner. Applying to the right eye was actually easier for me, being right handed. I actually wish I’d started with that one; I might have been a bit more confident by the time I got to the left. The instructions advise applying 7-14 eye lashes per eye, I went for around 9 per eye – you’ll see from the pics I could have added more, but I didn’t want to overdo it!  I put small ones in the inner eye, one larger to the very outer eye and medium in between. It was fiddly, one of those things that hopefully gets better with practice, but after I struggled through the left, I flew through the right.

A couple of tips, don’t apply too much glue to the foil, it dries quickly, and if you can, use old, less sharp tweezers. They get covered in glue and my Tweezerman’s are so sharp they snagged a few lashes. It took around 30 minutes to apply both eyes, with practice I reckon I could get it down to 15.

The results…

One eye (excuse the lack of make up and eye brow grooming – I’m growing them out, more about that later)

Both Eyes

 

I have to admit to being quite surprised by the results. They looked more natural than I expected – very feathery and quite long, BUT I wanted volume NOT length. I left them for a few hours before having a shower.  The instructions tell you to wash your face gently with cold water. I half expected to see dozens of spiders legs in the shower afterwards, but they appear to have survived the wash… that was UNTIL I dried my face. I lost a few lashes to the towel. Great, 4 weeks, more like 4 hours!

I re-applied the ones I lost and got ready as normal. I found it quite tricky to apply eye liner, I couldn’t get close enough to the lash line – partly because of the clumps of dried glue and partly because I was frightened that I’d drag them off. Mascara was pretty tricky too. I didn’t apply as much as normal, but found I really didn’t need to.

The results WITH mascara… pretty impactive!

I had spent most of the day faffing around with them, but was finally pleased with the results.

They were surprising comfortable to wear – I wasn’t aware of them at all… that was, of course, until I came home and washed my face. I really didn’t think the lashes could stand up to a post night out scrub, so I gently washed around them.

Day 4

By now I’ve lost a few and not replaced them. You can see some gaps but they look ok. I’m feeling a bit frustrated because I can’t properly clean and cleanse my eyes, but I want to leave them alone and see how long they’ll last.

Day 5

Lost a couple more! The glue is starting to show and a few have slipped down the lash shaft – still hanging on, but looking a bit messy. My frustration has got the better of me. I need them out!!!! I wash my face and use them removal lotion to get rid of the last stragglers. CAUTION, the lotion STINGS!

Finally they’re off – it’s such a relief to be able to clean my eyes properly and touch them without worrying I’ll pull out a few clumps. So, was it worth it? The first night, with mascara, the lashes looked fab! But afterwards they were too difficult to maintain and certainly don’t last as long as advertised. I’m not put off, I think I’d try them again, perhaps for a holiday or weekend away. Other than that, I think I’ll stay au naturale.

Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding Make-Up

Or should that be Kate Windsor?

Well the wedding’s almost over (sobs) but worry not, we still have the dress, the hair and the make up to obsess about.

Staying true to her “commoner” roots, Kate decided to do her own make up on the day. It was a brave and commendable decision, but with 2 billion eyes watching me and a queue of celebrity make up artists clambering for the job, I’m not sure I would have turned down a helping hand. So how did she do?

Now before I upset anyone, I’ll start by saying the girl’s gorgeous and would have looked amazing in a bin bag. The dress was stunning and the hair, in my opinion, was just right – classy, feminine and understated, and that Cartier tiara was to die for BUT I was a tad disappointed by the make up.

Well actually, just the eyes. For bridal make up, I thought they were a touch too dark. Many make up artists won’t use eyeliner on brides, or bridemaids for that matter. It can shrink the eyes, especially when applied to the bottom lash line, and look severe. Fortunately the rest of the look, like Kate, was pretty and feminine. She has apparently been taking make up lessons from Arabella Preston before the wedding.

Here’s how to get the look.

Skin

Natural and simple, I applaud Kate not for overdoing the tan, like sister and maid of honour Pippa. Create a flawless base with a sheer foundation or tinted moisturiser, I’d suggest a mineral based foundation for a natural glow. Set with a subtle dusting of powder. For the cheeks, choose a rosy pink powder blush to create a flushed look, blending from the apple of the cheek up to the hairline. Kate was spotted stocking up on Bobbi Brown products the week before the wedding.

Eyes

Kate opted for a  smokey eye, slightly heavy on the liner. Start with a neutral base colour all over the lids, then sweep a smokey brown along, and below the socket line. Line the upper and lower lash line with a black kohl pencil (for a less dramatic look try brown or grey) and finish with a natural and glossy mascara. Rumour has it Kate used Lancome’s Hypnose, which I LOVE and it great for creating Volume, and for me, is more of an evening mascara.

Brows

The eyebrows look darkened. To create the look, first comb them in to place with an eyebrow brush, then fill in any gaps with a dark brown pencil or brown powder. Something like Benefit’s Brow zings would work a treat.

Lips

Lips were kept simple, allowing her natural smile to shine through. Complete the look with a nude/pinky gloss.

Nails

Apparently manicurist Marina Sandova, from the Jo Hansford salon, popped into Clarence House yesterday to give her a classic nude manicure using Bourjois Rose Lounge, £5.99, topped with a subtle shimmer in Essie’s Allure, £9.95.

Overall, a job well done. Now I just can’t wait to see the evening outfit,and make up of course.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Kate’s look.

Lust Have: No7 Spring Collection Gel Liners

As a recent convert to gel liners (Bobbi Brown I love you) I couldn’t wait to try the Limited Edition gel liners from No7’s Spring Collection and I’m happy to report that they didn’t disappoint.

The consistency is very creamy, which makes them easy to apply and “play” with to create the perfect look, once it dries, it stays put for hours. That’s what I love about Gel liners, no smudge. They come with a mini brush, which is handy to keep in your purse, but I find you get better control with a regular sized brush.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, there’s been some mixed reviews, but all in all, a pretty good effort from No7.

Currently available in three great shades, here’s what Lisa Eldridge No7 make-up artist and creative director said..

“Fabulous gel eye liners to focus your BardotKitten eyed look. Gel formulations are so mucheasier than liquids because their creamy textureallows for a longer application time…so time toperfect your flick!
In three great shades, black is a total classic, blue is a chic and softer alternative to black and the creamy bright turquoise is just fabulous for making a bold eye statement.”
 
Do they rival the Bobbi Brown ones? For me, no, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find a place in my heart, and make up bag for them. A snip at £10, no wonder they’re flying off the shelves. Right now available in the 3 for 2 offer.

Milan Fashion Week Top Beauty Trends

Honestly I don’t know how the fashionistas keep up with fashion week. Each city’s show’s are so special, oppulent, dramatic, exciting and enticing, why oh why do they have a cram them into a few weeks. As the merry-go round moves on to Paris, here’s a quick round up of the top trends showcased in Milan. Amidst the Galliano scandal, the show fared pretty well, at least in the beauty stakes.

Statement Eye liner

Now there’s a trend I can channel. At D&G lines were thick and jet black, teamed nicely with flawless skin and pale lips, ok I’m reaching for the gel liner right now.

Burgundy Lips

Bright lips were a major makeup trend for spring/summer and you will be pleased to know they are still around for winter, but, rather than hot coral and flaming red, for autumn they take a deeper, more sensual tone.

At Gucci they were Dark and Glossy.

Red wine coloured at Missoni but be careful, it’s a tricky lip to muster without looking old or transvestite-y.

Spider lashes

A look usually seen on young girls that have just discovered mascara. I love, I mean LOVE Mascara and this look works well on Gucci’s sleek catwalk show, but in the real world has the danger of looking tacky and over done.

Eye shadow overload

We saw this look at New York, damn, looks like it’s gonna to stick. Eye shadow stretched from beneath the eye all the way to the eye brows, eek! I can’t see myself going that extreme anytime soon.

Paris, show us what you got?…

Ten Under a Tenner – Best Budget Beauty Buys

Proving that you don’t need a celebrity bank balance to look like one, I’ve tried and tested some of the best budget beauty buys and they’re all under a tenner!

Barry M Nail Paint, £2.99 each

Great quality, great price and available in a rainbow of colours it’s no wonder Barry M nail varnished have just won In Style’s Best Beauty Buy’s 2011 “best inexpensive nail varnishe” category. Available from Boots and Superdrug stores.

L’Oreal True Match Touche Magique £7.19

The minute I stopped comparing every under eye concealer to the wonder that is the YSL  touche eclat, I discovered lots of great alternatives. Cheaper versions are never going to be the same, they’re usually thicker, more pigmented, but that aint necessarily a bad thing! L’Oreal’s Touche Magique is great for dark bags and also packs enough punch for the odd blemish, and at £7.19 you can bag 3 for the price of 1 touche eclat.

Topshop Kohl Eye Pencils £4

Deep, intense colour in a gliding and soft pencil to give easy and precise application. Velvety finish and deep colour with just one stroke of this soft kohl pencil. Avilable in fantastic shades including Dragon Fly and Petrol.

No7 Limited Edition Spring Collection Lipstick £10

New to the No7 range for Spring/Summer 11. These soft moisturising lipsticks available in two shades – Brigitte a pale and pouty pink shade and Grace, a warm, peachy pale coral. You had me at the packaging. Catch them quick in Boots stores now!

Perfection Colour Intense Lip Lacquer M&S £7.50

Super shiny, highly pigmented gloss that glides on and stays put. Available in vivid shades: pink fizz, pink magenta, vamp, red nude, scarlet, orange fizz, wild plum, claret, pink parfait and jewel. Available online and in store.

Girls Aloud Party Lashes by Eylure £5.10

Since hitting the market in 2009, these falsies have gone down a storm. Five styles available, each designed by your favourite member of girls aloud. Featuring an easy application design, with a glue adhesive and a contact lens friendly design. I highly recommend Nadine’s bambi esque lashes! Available from good chemists and department stores.

Urban Decay Big FATTY Mascara Colour Collection Minis £9

It’s big, it’s fat, it should be illegal. Big Fatty Mascara creates the fullest, fattest lashes imaginable. Infused with hemp oil to moisturize & keep lashes soft, this thickening mascara takes lashes to a new realm. The creamy formula thickens, lengthens & glosses lashes. Step away from bog standard black and try out Purple Haze or Electric Blue…Just one try and you’ll be hooked. Available at Asos.com.

Models Own Powder Eyeshadows £5

Over 60, yes 60 colurs available in stylish matt, sexy shimmer and glam glitter for every look and mood. The colours are intense, rich and vibrant and you don’t need to use much to create fab looks and effects. Right now on Models Own website, buy 3 for £12. Also available at Boots and Superdrug stores.

Carmex Cherry Lip Balm £2.50

Available since 1937, this culy beauty buy has sold over 1 billion jars Worldwide, now available in Cherry flavour – yum yum! Perfect for soft, kissable lips. Never be caught without yours, I have on in my bag, one on my desk and one next to the bed. 3 for 2 now at Superdrug.

No7 Eye Shadow Blend and Contour Brush £6.60

I’m a big fan of No7 brushes, in my opinion they’re every inch as good as many expensive rivals. High quality, super soft bristles and large head area make this brush perfect for blending eye shadow along the lid area and beyound. A great go-to brush for everyday use. Also highly recommended in this range, the foundation brush, but at £12, doesn’t qualify in this category.