Thursday, 18 October 2012

Spotlight On: Burberry Lip Velvet Long Wear Lipstick



Burberry Lip Velvet Long Wear Lipstick
Pink Apricot No.301* 

If the packaging and presentation of this product wasn't so darn sleek and stunning, I would apologise for the photo heavy post. However, I fear even the final selection of the 30+ photos I snapped of this beautiful creation, do not quite do it the justice I feel it deserves. The length of this post, for just one lipstick, is testament to my adoration for it too I am sure.


Pink Apricot {No.301} is one of twelve refined shades from the Burberry Beauty AW12 collection. The Lip Velvet's are "effortless long wear matte" lipsticks, with richly pigmented and hydrating shades, that leave a velvety finish to the lips. The lightweight, water resistant formula offers impressive longevity, without feeling heavy or overbearing.



For my first foray into the world of Burberry Beauty products, I was unapologetically impressed. From the subtle and classic Burberry print design on the packaging, the satisfying magnetic snap closure of the lid, to the embossing on the bullet itself, this product oozes high end make up sex appeal. It feels exquisite and excellent quality before you even apply it to your lips - and may I also add, the scent is reminiscent of Parma Violets, if a little more sophisticated.


As for the shade itself, Pink Apricot is indeed an accurate description - think warm, brown toned pink, combined with a gentle apricot, to create an incredibly wearable and flattering shade, that has the perfect amount of colour for these dreary days. From the shade to the packaging, this lipstick makes me feel less like a kid playing dress up, and more like the adult that I suppose I should embrace being. 


When applied to the lips, the consistency is thick, yet glides on smoothly, and I find this to be surprisingly hydrating for a matte lipstick, making it not only effortless to apply, but comfortable to wear too. Burberry Beauty designed this with a "breathable, protective and elegant" finish in mind, which I think they most certainly have achieved. I can also testify to it's long wearing properties pretty successfully, for the swatch I initially applied still remained visible after 3 washes with vigorous scrubbing each time - impressive.

Burberry Lip Velvet Long Wear Lipsticks retail at £22.50, and are available online or from various instore beauty counters {hint: check out the store locator to find your local stockist}. Someone should probably physically restrain me from visiting my local counter...

Have you tried any Burberry Beauty products? What are you lusting after from the AW12 collection?

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated. Products denoted with a * were provided for review consideration purposes.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

NOTD: Essie Navigate Her

Essie 'Navigate Her', artificial light, with flash
I suspect I am breaking the 'rules' of autumn with this pastel murky green shade, but sometimes that just has to be done. Essie 'Navigate Her'* is a shade I would normally tend to reserve for warmer months, given it's light pastel hues and natural ode to springtime. However, I often tend to wear a lot of black once the weather gets cooler, and like to brighten things up with coloured nails and accessories...plus, rules are meant to be broken, right?! 

Essie describe this shade as a "light, bright green", although I would say perhaps a milky, pastel green, reminiscent of pistachios, is more appropriate. Either way, it's a really unique colour that I have worn rather a lot already this month. Opaque in two thin coats, and with great longevity {especially when used in conjunction with a decent top coat}, I think it's a great antidote to dull, dreary days.

This particular shade of Essie was from Xtras Online, for only £2.99. SAY WHAT?! It's still available, so click HERE to snap it up pronto!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own, unless in italics and ". Some links may be affiliated. Products denoted with a * were provided for review consideration purposes.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A Review: Organic Care Systems Power Build Shampoo & Conditioner

Organic Care Systems
Power Build Shampoo & Conditioner*

What Do I Think?
Shampoo and conditioner reviews are such a personal thing, and therefore somewhat difficult to write. Our hair is completely different, and whilst it's easy for me to say that my hair is medium, colour treated, with dry ends and oily roots, what works for me might not necessarily work for you. As such, I always think product reviews should be treated with some degree of caution. Having said that, these two products were consistently good, and I personally think they would work well for any colour treated hair type. Organic Care Systems is a brand I've heard little about, quite surprising given how effective I found the products to be. As the name would suggest, the brand favours organic, natural ingredients, and their products are free from parabens and all other nasties. The brand is also completely cruelty free. The Power Build range is designed to naturally strengthen and protect colour treated hair, whilst providing volume and nourishment, and helping to prevent colour fade. The shampoo {250ml} lathers well, and left my hair squeaky clean and relatively tangle free - a rare find indeed - and the conditioner {200ml}, although quite thin in consistency, provided much needed moisture and nourishment. The products smell clean and fresh, as if I'd just walked out of a salon, and my hair was soft and bouncy, with a nice shine.

Where Are They Available?
The products are available online from www.karinejackson.co.uk.

How Much Do They Cost?
Both products retail at £10.95.

Would I Recommend Them?
I really would recommend these products, I think they work fantastically well, and really cared for my hair. I only wish they were a little cheaper and more easily accessible.

Star Rating:
5/5

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated. Products denoted with a * were provided for review consideration purposes.

NOTD: No7 Stay Perfect Glitter Top Coat

No7 Stay Perfect Glitter Top Coat in Gold, natural daylight, no flash
 I've a confession. I'm going to come right out and just say it. I love glitter. Especially on my nails {even if it is a bitch to remove}. It delights the child in me, the lover of all things girly and sparkly, and at times, I just can't get enough.

I believe this No7 Stay Perfect Glitter Top Coat in Gold may have been limited edition, and is no longer available, in which case I am terribly sorry for posting about it so late. However, I'm starting to feel that Christmas vibe, and what better way to conjure up more festive feelings than gold glitter?! I mean, just LOOK at it, it's so pretty:


For this NOTD, I paired one coat of No7 Stay Perfect Glitter Top Coat in 'Gold' with two coats of Nails Inc 'Black Taxi', and a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat. This polish is packed full of small gold glitter particles intermingled with larger chunks of hexagonal gold glitter, and is simply mesmerising to look at.

Do you like to adorn your nails like a Christmas tree?!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated.

Friday, 12 October 2012

A Review: Mandara Spa Island Paradise

Mandara Spa Island Paradise
Intensive Body Scrub & Pampering Bath Soak*

What Do I Think?
There is nothing nicer than being able to recreate a spa experience in your own bathroom. If you can ignore the baby toys dotted around the edge of the bath, and the layer of dust that you keep meaning to clean off of the windowsill, placing some scented candles about the place and playing some relaxing music can certainly give the temporary illusion of a pampering haven. I always associate spa's with clean and zesty citrus scents, and of course indulgently luxurious textures. This particular range of Mandara Spa products is inspired by the revitalising fragrance of an 'Island Paradise', and let's face it, who wouldn't want to even momentarily escape to one of those?! As a lover of exfoliating, the Intensive Body Scrub is perfect for me, it's creamy consistency is packed full of tiny, grainy particles, that slough off dead skin cells leaving behind soft and healthy looking skin. A little blob of product goes a surprisingly long way - although do take care because the bottom of the shower will get rather clogged as you rinse off - and the scent lingers delicately on the skin for a while after. 
Whenever I get the chance to lower myself into a deliciously relaxing hot bath of an evening, believe me I do, and the Pampering Bath Soak is a wonderful product to pep you up if you're feeling in need of some serious TLC. It's thick and luxurious, with the most mouthwatering lemon and grapefruit scent, it creates the perfect amount of bubbles and envelopes you in a soft, aromatic warmth. My skin feels delightfully soft and fragrant after use. There is only one problem with these products...when I open my eyes I'm actually there, in my slightly grubby bathroom, with someone banging on the door because they need a wee...not in the blissful Island Paradise I'd drifted off to in my imagination.

Where Are They Available?
Mandara Spa products can be purchased online from Time To Spa.

How Much Do They Cost?
The Intensive Body Scrub retails at £8.00 for 350ml and the Pampering Bath Soak retails at £12.00 for 500ml. 

Would I Recommend Them?
Most definitely yes, although you can get hold of decent bath products anywhere these days, it's lovely to have something a little more decadent to use on occasion - and when that decadence is affordable, it would be rude not to. 

Star Rating:
5/5

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated. Products denoted with a * were provided for review consideration purposes.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Product Rave: Hydraluron




Let us not beat around the bush here, Hydraluron {created by the sciencey skincare folk at Indeed Labs} has received a fair amount of attention in the beauty industry, although I personally feel it is well deserving of even more...

Hydraluron is a moisture boosting serum marketed at dehydrated skin - your skin can be dehydrated at any age, although this product may be a particular favourite for more mature skins, which tend to be the most prone to dehydration. Containing the wonder ingredient, hyaluronic acid, it is designed to be used in conjunction with all of your other regular lotions and potions, and should increase their moisturising properties too, by encouraging more effective absorption in the skin.  

So, how does it actually work? Could this unassuming white tube, ensconced in a bright pink box, really hold the answer to dehydrated skins prayers? Well, starting at the beginning seems as good a place as any, so let me first explain what hyaluronic acid is. Occurring naturally in our bodies, hyaluronic acid is what helps the skin to retain water {hydration} - it can actually "hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water". The younger the skin, the more hyaluronic acid, hence why it is an increasingly popular choice of ingredient for 'anti aging' topical skincare treatments. When the skin's levels of hyaluronic acid become depleted, skin can become dehydrated, which can often manifest itself as dry flaky skin, or oily, dull skin. Which is where Hydraluron comes in...I can't comment on whether it is in fact the "world's purest hyaluronic acid from the Netherlands" {although I'm going there next month, so perhaps I can verify this?!}, but what I can comment on is the potency of this serum, and that it certainly packs a pretty impressive punch in it's attempt to "restore optimal hydration levels". It's almost certainly a more affordable method of providing dehydrated skin with a much needed moisture surge, that negates the need for invasive injections or the popping of pills.

My skin drank this serum up, right from the very first application, and my skin looked almost instantly brighter. I found my moisturiser was absorbed more effectively after use too, and my skin didn't 'drink up' my foundation as much as it usually would - dehydrated skin will quite literally suck all moisture from products applied topically. You don't need very much product at all to cover your entire face and neck, too much and it will feel sticky. I've noticed an improvement in the look and texture of my skin since using this, and although I don't think I look any younger {which wasn't necessarily what I was after}, I definitely know my skin is more hydrated.

Be aware that the packaging itself is slightly misleading, for out of the average sized box comes a slightly less averagely sized tube {30ml}, although what it lacks in physical size it certainly makes up for in its effectiveness. The box itself however, is packed full of informative facts and figures about the product, it's origins and it's results. I'm certainly very taken by Hydraluron, despite my initial scepticism, and would highly recommend it to anyone who feels their skin could do with a little more hydration.  

Hydraluron retails for £24.99, and is available instore and online {in the UK} from Boots.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own, unless denoted by italics. I'm certainly not a skincare expert, all of the above information has come via my own research. Some links may be affiliated. I'd also recommend you check out Caroline Hiron's rave reviews of Hydraluron - it's what prompted my purchase in the first place!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A Review: Korres White Tea Fluid Gel Cleanser

White Tea

What Do I Think?
Let's start with the positives. I really like and respect Korres as a brand, I admire their ethos and what they represent. I love the packaging, the simplicity of the bottle and typography on the label appeal to me, and the box is sturdy and informative. I also love that the products can boast about this:
However, for me that is where the positives have to end. Unfortunately, this particular product just did not agree with my skin, and actually caused me to breakout quite significantly - creating tiny little whiteheads or bumps under the surface of my skin, all over my face {normally my breakouts are on my chin or along my jawline}. I discontinued use to be sure it was this cleanser causing the problems, and sure enough once I stopped so did the spots. It hasn't deterred me from trying out Korres products, but I will be sure to investigate the ingredients further in an attempt to pinpoint what my skin disagreed with. The gel consistency and gentle fragrance appealed to me, and it couldn't be any simpler to use, it's just such a shame this time it didn't work out.

Where Are They Available?
I buy my Korres products when visiting my local Waitrose (instore or online), however, you can also find them stocked online at ASOS, Feel Unique and Look Fantastic (to name but a few).

How Much Does It Cost?
This bottle was £15.00 (for 200ml) - a pretty big dent in my purse considering I didn't like it.

Would I Recommend It?
I sadly can't recommend this particular product, however, I do recommend Korres as a brand, and this one experience most certainly won't deter me.

Star Rating:
1/5

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

September Favourites {2012}

"Where have you been, and what have you been doing?" I hear you cry - at least...I hope you did *awkward pause*. Another month has crept past, and I've barely blogged at all. For the first week of the month I was in Vancouver on a work trip; the second week was wiped out by the fog of jet lag, a panic attack and exhaustion {my insomnia has kicked in again, oh joy}; the third week was spent recovering from the first and second week; which leads us to the fourth and final week of the month, in which I did actually manage to publish a post. I would apologise for my absence, I suppose that would be the polite thing to do, however, sometimes life truly does just get in the way, and catching up on missed time with my little man got took precedence. 

The trip to Vancouver did allow for some sneaky duty free and beauty shopping {a whistle-stop tour of Sephora and the Pacific Centre beauty hall}, and the majority of my splurges feature heavily in this months favourites.


SKINCARE


Avéne Light Hydrating Cream SPF20
I posted a mini review of this Avéne moisturiser in my Currently Using: Skincare Edition post this week. Suitable for normal to combination and sensitive skin types, this wouldn't normally be a product I would try. I subscribed to a magazine recently purely because, for the price of the subscription {£8.00}, you received a gift of four Avéne products worth significantly more! This moisturiser was part of the set, and I've really been enjoying the gentle hydration it gives my skin, and having SPF20 is an added bonus as far as I'm concerned, even if we might have bid the sunshine a reluctant farewell.


Avéne Micellar Lotion
Acquired via the Avéne set I mentioned above, this Micellar Lotion was the product I was most excited about trying. As I mentioned in my recent skincare post, I use this product to remove the bulk of my face and eye make up prior to a more thorough cleanse. It's the perfect solution to quicker make up removal for lazy ladies like myself, is gentle on the skin and eyes, and removes even stubborn waterproof mascara without the need for rubbing.


Caudalíe Beauty Elixir
Almost as soon as I was through the doors of Sephora in Vancouver, this little beauty from Caudalíe dropped happily into my basket. I couldn't resist the temptation, as it glinted at me innocently from the bottom shelf, the lure of it was too much for me. I'm pretty sure there is something addictive in this little bottle of joy, because I can't stop spritzing it all over my face, I find it very calming.

MAKE UP


Chanel Nail Colour in Suspicious {561}
You've got to hand it to whoever designed Gatwick Airport's World Duty Free...making people walk past the beautiful stands of high end make up on their way to an early morning 9 hour flight is just asking for trouble...which is how I happened to find myself lusting over the nail polishes from the Chanel Autumn 2012 collection. I had to join the long queue at the tills to buy some travel plug adaptors, and I mean, it would've been rude not to buy some Chanel at the same time...right?! Suspicious is a stunning raspberry pink, the perfect shade to transition us from the warmth of late summer to the crispness of early autumn and beyond. Sure, the longevity is pretty diabolical, and yes you expect more for your money when you're buying Chanel, but it was a colour I just couldn't refuse, and an indulgence that warmed the soul.


Essie Angora Cardi
I featured Angora Cardi by Essie in a recent NOTD post, after sampling it when I stayed at Lydia's house last month. I completely fell in love with the dreamy creamy purple/rose shade, and promptly went out and purchased my own bottle. From the new diffusion line, this polish boasts the 'new' Essie formulation and the wider brush, making it an absolute dream to apply. Fully opaque in just two thin coats, this lasts really well on me when used in conjunction with a decent topcoat, and I've worn it almost exclusively this month.


Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Duo
As I stood at the till, chatting with the salesperson and cursing aloud at the absence of a Sephora in the UK, the beauty junkie inside of me literally squealed in delight when I was told I could sign up to be a 'Beauty Insider' and receive some freebies that day {please note, this was probably also due to the rather excessive amount of $ I handed over for my splurges}. I'd heard good things about the Fresh Sugar lip treatments, so was thrilled when the salesperson popped this Mini Duo into my black and white stripey bag. The Sugar Lip Treatment smells divine, all sugary, fruity and citrusy, so fresh and clean, and although it's not incredibly long wearing, I do find it hydrating and a pleasure to apply. The Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment leaves a delicate pink tint on the lips, with a subtle healthy sheen. Both products boast SPF15 as an extra bonus, and the packaging feels high quality and luxurious. I can wholeheartedly recommend either of these to keep your lips hydrated on a long haul flight too.


Liz Earle Brow Pencil and Liz Earle Brow & Eyeliner Brush*
Brow maintenance is something I've admitted I'm lazy with before. It's not that I don't want my brows to look nice, it's just that it adds another step to my already tight for time beauty routine of a morning. However, I believe I may have discovered a low maintenance quick fix answer to my eyebrow grooming prayers - enter the Liz Earle Brow & Eyeliner Brush and the Liz Earle Brow Pencil in Fair. The brow brush is perfect for taming my wayward brows into place, and the shade of the pencil is perfect for filling in any sparse looking gaps without being too obvious. The pencil is soft and water resistant, it doesn't fade or transfer throughout the day, and is certainly a product I will repurchase. 


MAC Well Dressed Powder Blush
Try as I might to stray away from this blush, I just can't help but find myself drawn back to it's soft pink charms. A quick stroll around the MAC store in Vancouver led to me handing over yet more hard earned $ for my third or fourth MAC Well Dressed repurchase. It's such an easy, wearable shade of pink, with a tiny hint of shimmer, that makes my cheeks look effortlessly flushed and my overall complexion appear healthier. What's not to love?!

HAIRCARE



YUKO Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner*
Yuko are not a brand I am overly familiar with, and I'm guessing most of my readers won't be either. I'd had a selection of products from their Anti-Frizz range sat on my bathroom shelf for a little too long before I finally got around to trying them out and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed using them. Although not overly frizzy, when left to it's own devices my hair can be wavy and wayward, so a little extra control never goes amiss. Both the shampoo and conditioner smell clean and fresh, and leave my dry, frazzled hair feeling clean, soft, well nourished and unexpectedly light. I'll definitely do a more in depth review soon, so keep your eyes peeled.


Denman Be-Bop Massage Brush*
Another haircare product that I've been meaning to mention for some time is a funky looking palm sized plastic massage brush from Denam, named the Be-Bop. Designed to be used to massage the scalp when applying shampoo, I've instead preferred to use it for combing through my hair when rinsing out conditioner in the shower. Its many bristles stimulate the scalp in a gentle way, detangling my hair and when used a few times a week, I find it helps to keep those dreaded white flakes away {I suffer with a dry scalp occasionally}.

PERFUME


Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
Admittedly my biggest Sephora splurge, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb has been on my perfume wishlist for well over 4 years. The over-excitement at finally being in a Sephora, combined with a small amount of time and a large amount of recklessness saw me making a totally indulgent purchase, but with no regret. The floral scent of this perfume is so utterly perfect, and I am so glad I finally took the plunge.

HONOURABLE MENTION


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
At a risk of stating the obvious, this book is about a circus. There is not much more I can say without giving away the magical and enchanting plot, other than strongly urge you to pick up this book and read it. A gripping page turner from the start, I devoured this book from start to finish and am already keen to re-read it, which doesn't happen too often I can tell you. If you're into chick-lit this book probably isn't for you {although there is a little love story}, but if you're after something different you can get your teeth into, this could be it.

Disclaimer: Products denoted with a * were provided for review consideration purposes. I am not affiliated with any of the brands or companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated.