Thursday, 16 September 2010

Hair Traumas

Eek! Sorry it's been a while. I am a baaad blogger! I have loads to do in the way of reviews, tutorials and general ramblings but for today my focus is all about hair, the things we put it through, and the trauma it suffers! This is on my mind as, over the weekend, much to the dismay of my mother and boyfriend I decided that my ends were looking a little ginger and decided to whack on an at-home dye to cover my highlights. It'll be a while before I go to the salon again and this seemed the most logical thing to do. Well, how mistaken was I. I applied a shade of dark blonde and left it for 15 minutes, half the recommended time. Foolproof plan I thought, leaving it in for the whole time would surely make my hair way too dark (this has happened more times than I care to remember in the past!) and so I proceeded in my merry way :) Unbelievably, the result was STILL too dark. I was brunette again, and this did not please me to say the least. I spent the first part of this week moping and complaining that I wanted to be blonde again, to the extent that I went to Superdrug with my Mum in search of a remedy. This is what I found:

I had read about this product before and it seemed too good to be true, but given the situation I was willing to try it. The little leaflet said that it works by shrinking hair dye molecules and allowing them to be washed away without affecting your natural hair colour. All very sciencey. I haven't seen my natural colour for years, so I was just after getting rid of the last dye I put on and restoring my blonde to it's former glory :) The instructions were as follows:

1> Must be used on clean dry hair free of other products. Cue a wash and blow dry to rid it of all the hairspray and dry shampoo I had used that morning!

2> Apply colour remover for 20 mins max. then rinse for 10 mins. In this case I have to say 10 minutes felt like an hour! My hair also felt a little rough and straw-like which was weird considering it says ion the instructions that it doesn't damage hair? hmm.

3> Apply buffer, lather for a minute, rinse for 5, followed by another buffer application and 5 more minutes of rinsing. This is where I started to worry. When rinsing the first lot of buffer out I couldn't believe the state of my hair :/ it felt matted, tangled and SO dry, I had a major panic and decided to slather it with deep conditioning mask for the next 5 minutes! So, no second stage of buffering, but I reckon I rescued my hair from the brink as it would not have tolerated another layer of that buffer!

Regardless, it actually turned out ok. I have been left with a pleasing shade of honey-blonde which is only a tiny bit more subdued than the blonde I started with. The ginger ends are gone - yay! And I will be staying away from the boxes of home-dye for the forseeable future :) My verdict? Excellent for lifting an unwanted colour, but be prepared for your hair to take a battering. It's fine now, nice and soft and shiny, but what I felt when washing the buffer out was comparable to a full head of bleach left on for a while.

Colour B4 cost me 9.99 from Superdrug, they also do an extra-strength formula at 11.99.

I promise not to leave it so long this time! Will blog soon :)
Lucy x

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Summer Wishlist

Project 10 Pan is coming along wayyy to slowly for my liking (update blog coming soon!) and it seems like this wishlist keeps on growing every day. There are various bits and bobs that I've seen/read about and it's going to be SO hard come Friday (payday-woo!) to resist these little beauties. If anyone's tried these things please please tell me all about them! It will make me happy :) until I have finished P10P I can only dream and play at the beauty counters. Sigh.

First on the list is something I think is an essential for anyone's kit - lipbalm. However, this isn't just any old lipbalm! I'm talking about Clarins Crystal Lipbalms which look absolutely divine and good enough to eat. They are packaged like a lipstick and to me they look like jelly in a tube! Awesome. I really want one. Of each colour. Ha :)
Here's a blog I found all about them :D

The next two things are a couple of mascaras - Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptuous, and Rimmel 1-2-3 looks mascara. I'm really interested to see how the Rimmel one actually works - does the brush change? Or is it just the amount of product picked up by the brush? I also really love the original Lash Stiletto so it'll be good to see how this one's different and if it's as good!

I tried a nice Revlon lipgloss the other day aswell, I'm pretty sure it was a Super Lustrous but I can't for the life of me remember the name of the shade. There's one on the website called 'firecracker' so it might have been that, it's a gorgeous summery coral shade, I was so impressed with the pigmentation of a drugstore gloss, and the fact that it was Revlon! I don't get along with Revlon products so it was a refreshing change. :)

Another thing I am just dying to get my mitts on is one of Urban Decay's new setting sprays. Don't get me wrong, I love it when its hot and sunny outside as it's something we rarely see round this neck of the woods, but it does my head in when my make up starts sliding around my face. The same is also true of a night out. Now we can all dance to our hearts content in a hot and sticky club knowing our carefully applied make up ain't budgin'! Well. That's the theory :) Cannot wait to road test this one guys.

I really need a new primer potion aswell so no doubt I'll be haulin' that along with the spray.

That's it for now, but let me know what's on your wishlist! No doubt it'll also be on mine once you tell me how fabulous it is ;) And anyone else doing 10 pan, show me your pictures!

All this talk of shiny new products is making me wanna get P10P over and done with.. I'll give y'all a little update really soon but for now, here's a sneaky progress picture :)

Speak soon lovelies!
Lucy xx

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Smokey Purple Experiment...

The other week I got my mitts on two lovely new Mac shadows I'd coveted for ages, Trax and Sketch. Trax is a gorgeous warmed-up plum with golden bronze reflects and has a Velvet finish, while Sketch is a dark aubergine with a purpley red irridescence, also a Velvet shadow - I'd swatch for you but my camera has died a death :( I only just managed to squeeze enough battery life for photos of the look!

Anyway. This morning I had a play and created the following:

(all shadows by Mac)
Apply Urban Decay Primer Potion to set your shadows and prevent creasing. Then sweep Trax all over the lid up to the crease. Apply Hepcat to the outer third and define the outer corner. Next, take Sketch and place it into the crease, blending inwards. Define the inner corner using Goldmine, and sweep outwards across the inner third of the lid, blending into the Trax. Use Brule for highlight, and blend. On the lower lash line, apply No.7 Metallic Eyes Pencil in 05 Purple to the outer half, and blend inwards using a pointed sponge applicator or your finger. For cheeks I used No.7 Natural Blush Cheek Colour in Candy Pink (I've hit pan! yay) and for lips, GOSH Darling :)

I didn't wear it out in the end because it's too dark and smokey for daytime. I'm considering it for a night out later in the week, however, I am a little paranoid it makes me look like I have two black eyes :S Without the Goldmine thrown in there, I swear I looked like I'd had time in the ring with Mike Tyson. So, if you do decide to road test this one, send me a little picture or let me know how it goes, and if you can tell me any products to add or remove that get rid of the black eye syndrome please do tell! :)

Cheers dudes. Lucy x

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Ins and Outs!

Having seen this done on a few other blogs I thought I'd give it a whirl seeing as there's a few random bits I want to ramble on about. Hopefully this won't be a total disaster haha :D

Okay, so here goes.


SJP NYC Perfume - I went to Debenhams and had a sniff of this at the weekend - it's gorgeous! A really fruity, summery perfume, it's right up my street. I've tried Lovely by SJP in the past for a brief period and although it smells gorgeous, I didn't feel it was very "me" - too flowery! My sister wears it now and it reminds me of her which is nice :) I really wasn't keen on the trio of perfumes she released last - one reminded me of baby powder, and one of wasp spray haha. NYC is fab though - hope to get it for my birthday in August as I'm saving/really skint at the moment. Which leads me onto my next 'in'...

Project 10 Pan - For those not in the know, Project 1o Pan means a total ban on make up junkie purchases in a bid to collect 10 empty products. I've decided to give this a go for 2 reasons - I just got a new job (yay!) but I will get paid monthly, meaning that for the next couple of months I won't have two pennies to rub together (booo!) which also means no more non-essentials for Lucy (even more boooo!). I'll be trying my best to use up 10 random products and of course, keep you updated on my progress! The second reason I'm doing this is because frankly, my love of bronzers is getting a bit out of control now :P At last count I had 7, 3 of them I have hit pan on! I was deliberating whether to get Refined Golden from To The Beach, and the MA actually talked me out of it! lol.

Mac Brushes - I bought my very first the other day, the 129, and love it! I find that it gives more precise application and I need to use less product than with the Body Shop brush I was using. I'll be purchasing more of these as soon as funds allow it! They are on the pricey side but I can totally see why - it's so well made and I can really feel the quality.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub - I ran out of my passion fruit scrub the other week - despair! As some of you may know, passion fruit products got discontinued at the Body Shop a while back - so I went along looking for a decent substitute. I went for coconut as it smells GORGEOUS :D <3 seriously, it's like a cross between cocoa butter and the smell of Malibu. haha! I think I like this better than the passion fruit one - it's really creamy and my skin feels really smooth after I've used it :) love this.


Urban Decay 24/7 liners - I bought these a while back and I was really excited about using them after hearing great things. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, but these just don't work for me at all. On my waterline they go all patchy, and on my lash line they clump and just don't blend well at all. I'm really disappointed! When I bought them I thought they were great value for money but apparantly not :/ sad times! I'll stick with kohl formulas for now I think. They just work better for me!

L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara - This looked so good in the ad's but sadly didn't translate in real life :( It sticks lashes together in clumps - seriously rubbish for separation - and as far as I can see, adds zero volume. It's advertised by Eva Longoria-Parker which to me is an odd coincidence as so was Volume Collagen which I also hated - I'd best avoid her mascara endorsements in future lol!

So that's my ins and outs at the moment! I should also mention something that's neither an 'in' nor an 'out' - Boots No7 vouchers! For the last few weeks, every time you spend a fiver or more at Boots they give you one of these pesky little vouchers. I have officially exhausted all No7 products I could possibly want! I managed to get into a vicious cycle whereby I'd redeem one or two vouchers only to be given another little blighter. Boots is like the beauty addict's equivalent of a crack dealer with these vouchers I swear. Anyway, I STILL have one that needs using up, so if you would like me to review a No7 product just leave me a little comment and I will go buy it :) I'll most probably do a blog giveaway when I've reviewed it aswell :) (this doesn't count as cheating at Project 10 Pan if I don't keep it, right?! :P)

Much Love
Lucy x

Monday, 26 April 2010

The wonder that is Maybelline Superstay 24hr!

So, for quite a long time now, my go-to foundation of choice has been L'oreal True Match liquid foundation. Put simply, I love it. I love it so much that I have four different shades, one for each season, depending on the level of tan I'm going with at the time (well, a gal's face gotta match her body right!). As with various other things (mascara, lipstick and the like) I have been somewhat of a bed-hopper when it comes to foundation. Every time a new formula catches my attention, I must try it. Some of these experiences have been good (read: Maybelline Dream Creamy) and others, not so much of a success (read: Revlon Photoready. Lol!) But no matter what, I always come back to True Match. However, I have to say, Maybelline Superstay might have just toppled it.

In the past, Maybelline has failed to inspire me with its foundations, so as a general rule I tend to avoid them. Here's a general breakdown for reference!

Dream Satin Liquid: Not keen. Made my skin very shiny. Needed a lot of powder to set it! On its own, not very good staying power.

Superstay Silky: Hated it. My best friend bought it and loved it! On me, streaky and orange. Not a good look :/

Dream Creamy: The best I have tried, bar this one. My problem with this is it's too heavy. I prefer to use it as a concealer :)

Dream Matte Mousse: This taught me a valuable lesson. Mousse foundations do not agree with me! I find them very drying, and seeing as my skin is kinda dry anyway, not good.

So those are the ones that I've tried, and I've not been thrilled so far. I am happy to report however, that 24/7 raised the bar!

It's like I have found a new, improved version of True Match. On application, it's creamy and smooth without being oily, and you only need a little to provide adequate coverage. When I wear it for work a little goes a long way, and for a night out when I know I'll be in a hot and sticky club, it's easy to build up to full coverage without that 'cakey' look, and what's best, you know it ain't gonna budge!

Now, as much as I love you all, I just can't commit that cardinal sin of going to bed in a full face of foundation for the benefit of my blog! Hence, whether this foundation ACTUALLY lasts 24 hours is debatable. I am of course willing to put this on first thing in the morning and party all night long, so maybe that can be this weekends task eh ;)

All in all, this is an excellent foundation on my dry/combination skin. It's easy to apply, very light, easy to blend and wears brilliantly. Maybelline, you have redeemed yourself. :)

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Massive Haul and Reviews :)

Brace yourself dear followers, this one's going to be a biggie!

In the last week or two I have done a whole lotta haulin' and not much blogging, and for that I apologise! Hopefully this will be a nice way of making it up to you :)

For starters, I went to Mac last weekend to check out Liberty of London and showed immense self restraint as I only picked up Shell Pearl beauty powder and Petals and Peacocks lipstick. I guess when I saw the collection 'in person', there was a lot of stuff that looked dupe-able, so I just grabbed the essential things that I wanted. I tried a look the other day using both products, and this is how it turned out:
My skin is terribly dry at the moment - that's why you should always wash your face after a foam party(!) - so the base doesn't look too clever. I used All That Glitters on the lid, then lined my upper lid with Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Corrupt and flicked it out at the edges. I used this in my waterline aswell. I used Shell Pearl beauty powder for cheeks, and for lips Petals and Peacocks lipstick with Barry M Lipgloss Wand in Bubblegum Pink over the top. I adore this lip combo! The gloss smells like bubblegum aswell which is awesome :)

On the same day I did Mac, I went to Nars and got a blush and a gloss in the colour Orgasm, as I heard great things about both and saw gurus on Youtube rave about them. The blush did not disappoint, it is a beautiful deep coral colour with a golden sheen, and I love it. The gloss on the other hand, I will not be repurchasing! To me, it is unnecessarily sticky and gloopy, and I'm not a fan of the colour. It looks pretty in the tube, but that's not enough to impress me unfortunately! I will be passing this on to a friend or my Mum to see of they like it any better.

Nars Orgasm Blush

The third thing on my 'to-review' list is Revlon Photoready foundation. This is another product I have heard good things about, and when I swatched it onto my hand it looked alright, so I bought it. Big mistake. Revlon promise that this foundation gives

"...poreless, airbrushed skin in any light. Photochromatic pigments bend and reflect light to erase every flaw. Complete, yet undetectable coverage. Soft, luminous finish."

When I first applied it, it felt quite oily, which was strange as it claims to be oil free. The 'soft' and 'luminous' finish is actually very shiny, and needed a lot of toning down with powder. Maybe I'm just used to using matte finish foundations, but this seemed to make my face look oily rather than soft and sheeny, and that's a feat seeing as my skin is on the dry side!

I wore this for work when I road-tested it, and I would say around the 5 hour mark was when I noticed how truly crap this foundation is. All down my T-zone it had separated and gone all patchy, even though I had set my foundation with powder like I usually do and moisturised thoroughly before application.

I am not a fan of this foundation and will not be repurchasing!

Today I picked up the new Maybelline 24hour Super Stay foundation, so we shall see how that one fares. I also bought a back-up of my favourite nude lipstick, Rimmel Volume Booster lipstick in Foxy, as I am running a little low. I love the plumping effect of this lipstick and that it's a great muted beige shade that doesn't give the 'concealer lips' effect, as it has a slight sheen. It goes on smooth and makes your lips tingle, and is great paired with a smokey eye. I also picked up Rimmel Vinyl Bronze Mirror Shine lipgloss in Summer Nude. I applied it in the car on the way home and found it has a lovely texture, a sweet orangey smell that is nice but not too overpowering, and looks great on its own though I intend to test it over lipstick too! Colour-wise, it's a lovely pinked up gold with shimmery particles and applies sheer but with a hint of colour.
I also bought a silver liner from Barry M as I needed one, and a Lip Paint in Pink Sparkle, which is a mid-toned cool pink with a hint of golden shimmer. I haven't tried it yet but the swatch looked mesmerising on my hand and I had to have it :)

Barry M Lip Paint in Pink Sparkle. Rimmel Volume Booster Lipstick in Foxy.

Last week, I got a new Bourjois blush in the shade Rose D'or, which I had to show you as it's such a pretty shade. Perfect for summer! It looks fab swirled onto the apples of your cheeks and gives a nice, subtle pink shimmer. Highly recommended. loveliness :)

Second to last, I'm a sucker for a new product or formula and I've seen this advertised everywhere, I just had to pick up a Rimmel Colour Show Off lipstick. I chose the shade Pink Gossip, a matte, mid-toned yellow pink. This has fantastic staying power, comparable to Mac Please Me in colour and texture, but ever so slightly darker. For a drugstore lipstick, the quality and staying power of this lipstick is phenomenal, I am really impressed. In fact, looking over this blog, I am impressed with Rimmel in general at the moment! Maybe it's time to wean myself off Mac and onto Rimmel for a purse would definitely thank me!

Last, but by no means least, is something I've been lusting after for a while - Urban Decay 24/7 liner Super Stash. 9 mini versions of some of the most popular shades in their range, all packaged up into what I think is an excellent value for money product. The shades you get are:

Corrupt, Stash, Ransom, Rockstar, Eldorado, Graffiti, Oil Slick, Binge, Zero.

Of the 9, I am enjoying Eldorado the most as I love gold eye products, and Corrupt is a nice alternative to black or plain brown liner as it has a slight shimmer.
I can't wait to have a play with the others in various looks, I think this set is so versatile and has enough shades to keep even the most avid collector entertained for a bit!

I expect those of you who have read all that to be bored to tears by now so I'll end it there :)
Stay tuned for a review of Maybelline Super Stay and possible something else, I haven't thought of yet :)
Also, if there's anything you wish me to test, blog about etc. do leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do :)

Much love!
Lucy x

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Hair and stuff :)

I went away to Wales for a few days around Mother's Day to have a family meal and I needed some travel-sized products, so I picked some (oh-so-cute!) baby bottles of Batiste Dry Shampoo (tropical), Tre Semme heat protect spray and Tre Semme Salon Silk shampoo and conditioner. I've not used Tre Semme in a while and I'd forgotten just how wonderful it is, so as soon as I ran out I went out and bought big bottles of both Salon Silk shampoo and conditioner - this stuff makes my hair SO soft, I am loving it. Very highly recommended as it's one of a rare breed of beauty products that actually does what it promises - salon quality haircare at a fraction of the cost.

I also had a little play with the hair dye again the other day. I have been many a colour in my 19 short years, and this one is a lot more subtle and closer to my natural colour than some of my attempts! I had quite a bit of root regrowth that needed covering so half my hair was dark brown, and the other half was a mid-brown colour which had faded and was generally looking a bit boring. I decided on L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss in Black Cherry as it's semi permanent and didn't do any obvious damage to my hair. It's a dark purplish red colour and it came out exactly how I wanted :D

I got my hands on a few new bits this week, all of which will be reviewed in due time. These were:

Revlon PhotoReady foundation
Bourjois blush in Rose D'Or
Rimmel Colour Show Off lipstick in Pink Gossip.

I think I'll ponder them along with my Liberty of London haul blog which will probably be Saturday. I'm super duper excited! :D

Have a lovely Easter!

Lucy xx