Tuesday, 29 May 2012

St Tropez Dark Lotion

EDIT; I had originally slated this, but now, after applying two coats, I eat my words!!!! Despite my previous hatred of the product, I applied a second coat and love the colour, its a much deeper brown.  I still maintain that its a nightmare to work in though which is a pain! But, it wore off really well, much better than Xen Tan, and I found that it lasted a lot longer! I think this may be my new favourite!

I loved the normal version of St Tropez, but I found that even after 2 coats it just wasn't dark enough for me! So I discovered Xen Tan dark lotion, fell in love, and moved on. But a tanning emergency prompted me to leg it to Boots Friday lunchtime to purchase, and I was ASTOUNDED by the price. It cost me £33!!!!!! £33, for a fake tan. In hindsight though, it lasts me 3 coats ish, so actually 3 coats of this is much cheaper than 3 spray tans! (hope you like my justification...!).

 I actually wanted to buy a smaller size, maybe the usual 120ml, because I was only testing it out, but this is actually the only size available.I do like the packaging, I find the black really sleek, although not a fan of the blue lid, but obviously being a moaner I had to find something I wasn't happy with!

So application... when I first put this onto my mitt it was DARK - I mean almost black! But as soon as I rubbed it into my skin it turned an awful green colour which actually worried me a bit! To quote my mum; "it looks like slurry!" (farming reference there as we live in wales!). Basically it is a really greeny / brown colour, sorry to gross you out but a bit like diarrhoea?! But I understand this is a guide colour to help! I found this lotion surprisingly hard to get into the skin, and really difficult to work with. It settles really quickly, so you have to work it in so fast! I really struggled even though I had exfoliated etc the night before.

So, the final result?
Despite being the colour of slurry when I went to bed, I woke up a lovely golden brown. Brilliant I thought, exactly the colour I want. Went into the shower, and guess what... The ENTIRE lot went down the drain! I had the water lukewarm too as I read somewhere that hot water breaks down the tan. I couldn't believe it!
I was left with a tiny bit on my skin, but no where near the colour I was expecting, I was so disappointed! I was basically my usual shade of natural pale, not the lovely brown colour I was expecting!

BUT, after two coats I was a lovely colour... actually the same colour as my friend from work who had just returned from a week in Greece! WIN!  So, in a nutshell, this gets a massive thumbs up from me! 100% recommend.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Again, I only purchased this after I was recommended it by The Saturdays' MUA on twitter. Guilty! But in my defence, I did try 2 sample-sized tubes before I shelled out and bought full size! I just tried to link the twitter conversation but I can't find it now as it was a while ago, annoying!). ANYWAY.

It is a massive tube, its 50ml, so think almost double a standard MAC foundation. Onto the product.
I LOVE the new packaging, I believe it used to be in a thin longer tube, but I much prefer it shorter and bigger, it makes me feel like I've got so much more product, stupid I know but it does! I think this was part of my problem with MAC Studio Sculpt... even though it was 30ml as usual it was long and thin which I just was NAT happy with.

I tend to keep this for when I'm having a particularly tired day, or to be honest, when I look "well rough". Everytime I've worn this I've had compliments on how my skin looks, and I just feel better knowing that I have it on (placebo effect?!). I can really see the difference when I wear it, and if I've had a really knackering week I will use it as a facemask for 15 minutes, which is an alternative use.

The label says to put this on IMMEDIATELY before applying make up... pretty specific as I'm bad and put my lashes on first, before I do foundation, because otherwise I have finger marks on my face where I've put my lashes on and leant on my cheeks! I know people say to use tweezers (bore off luv) but I prefer using my fingers!

In short, would I recommend this product? 100%! My make up looks more luminous and almost glowy, and I just feel better knowing that I don't look as rough as I did when I woke up! Honestly, my morning face is actually dog rough, sometimes I can't even look at myself!

This product retails at £28, and I can honestly say that I will definitely repurchase when I run out! I paid around £23 as I bought it on the plane home from NY, but for £5 difference I don't mind!

In other news, I am loving ASOIAF (sheep, I know)... I'm currently on book 3 and I am devouring it! Book 2 was doing my nut in, I'm a pretty fast reader but 900 pages was wearing me down, seeing the percentage hardly moving on my kindle was boring!!!
Hope you're all having a good week, its friday, THANK GOD, I'm off to Sandhurst to see the boyfriend (he's in his final stages of training to become an officer in the army) for the first time in 3 weeks, joys of a long distance relationship! Have a great weekend everyone!

Alice XOXO

Thursday, 24 May 2012

MAC Face & Body Foundation

This is a foundation that I've been meaning to try for probably around a year. It kept cropping up... on TV (The Saturdays documentary last year was my initial sighting, and they are FIT so I was keen to try), various blogs and then the direct tweet I received from The Saturdays (again, sorry!) MUA Celena well and truly cemented it! I tried to buy it at an airport, good move, not, as obviously its over 100ml so they didn't sell it. Traipsed all the way to MAC in Oxford, they didn't sell it either for a reason I still don't understand, so finally I ordered it online! I really wanted to swatch it before I bought it, as its such a large amount of product (120ml!) that I didn't want to be left with a ridiculous colour that I wouldn't use. After much research, and aided with Temptalia foundation matrix, I settled on the shade C3. (I'm normally NC30).

Ridiculously enough, when I'm at my palest (casper!), C3 is actually a tad too dark, yet when I've used my beloved fake tan (xen-tan!), it is too light! So what I tend to do is just wear it for work and make sure my hair is particularly large that day so that no-one can see my tide marks! Beauty sin I know, but my face isn't this bad, its just a tiny bit too dark so I figured I could get away with it!

I have found this so difficult to get to grips with! I've tried so many techniques... I've tried the MAC 187, which is my usual brush of choice, and the Real Techniques stippling brush which actually, I was really disappointed in. I might do a review of that at some point actually, as I struggle to get on with it at all!

The best way that I've found to use it is; put loads onto my 187, brush that all over my face to get a good layer on, then stipple it in properly in circular motions with the RT Stippling brush. Sometimes I have to do this with 2 layers as I find that it just doesn't sit right on my skin otherwise!

What I love about this foundation is that it makes my skin look so dewy and luminous for around 2/3 hours afterwards.. but after this it goes SO patchy and feels like its melting off my face, even with a serum and moisturiser underneath! What I find odd with this foundation is that some days, I love it and I can totally see why its Mollie King's foundation of choice. Other days, I HATE it, like today, when my ever-honest friend agreed that it looked really dodgy after a day's wear during the heat of today and a long day at the offce!

So just to be annoying, I'm on the face with this one! If I'm literally popping to town for a few hours, or just hitting the cinema or something or on a short outing, this is the foundation of choice. But for a full day in the office / in the heat, I wouldn't use it at all. I got home this evening and honestly, you know when your make up looks so bad you are HORRIFIED, well I had that, it was patchy, awful and I reckon I had like 10% left on my face!

It retails for £25.50, which I think is actually a really good price as you do get basically 4 times the amount you would for a normal £20 30ml MAC foundation. But saying that, I do use a lot more of this than I would of SFF! I don't think I will be repurchasing though.

I have yet to try it on my body / legs as I know others have, it's not dark enough for me to use instead of fake tan in this particular shade for me personally!

Any other questions / comments please leave below as normal!

Alice XOXO

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Chanel Rouge Allure - Le Rouge Satine - 85 Coquette

Wow mammoth title there...

The only thing I had ever bought from Chanel prior to my mini-haul at Heathrow was the Bronze Universale, which I'm still in love with after 6 months of use! I was so excited to purchase more, and couldn't wait to use them all.
Normally, before I buy a lipstick, I am very specific in what I look for. Bold, bright colours, good pigmentation and a long lasting time are high up there. I had very high hopes for this lipstick, especially after it was a hefty £20, which I consider to be quite a lot for a lipstick! It normally retails for £24.

I loved the packing, a gold lipstick with black shell. To get the lipstick out, you press the top in and it sort of pops out as shown below!  The colour itself, 85 Coquette, is a satin-y pink with shimmery undertones, and is called "Luminous Satin lip colour".

First impressions - even though I love the packaging, I am really disappointed. As a lipstick, it appears to be a lovely darkish pink colour, but as you can see, it is very different on the lips! It has nowhere near the same staying power as MAC, and compared to Lady Danger and Ruby Woo, it is terrible! I found that it had practically vanished after one drink, and the lasting power even without drinking was shocking. I am just glad I paid duty free price, which was still ridiculous at £20, than the usual RRP!

I really wanted to love this lipstick, I love the colour, its enough that it looks subtle compared to my usual garish colours of Lady Danger and Gulabi, but it is just such a let down!

Alice XOXO

Chanel Chanel Chanel

I went to New York & Washington D.C a few weeks ago with my boyfriend, and obviously on the way through Heathrow to meet him out there I couldn't resist having a peek at the Chanel counter, and with no-one to restrain me I went a bit mad...

Initially I only popped over to buy a replacement of the Bronze Universale, but after getting chatting to the lovely (male) sales assistant / MUA, I ended up having a makeover, which was brilliant seeing as my makeup had already been on my face for around 7 hours at this point and I had yet to step on the plane!
I was with him for like an hour, and he was so much fun! I'm not going to talk you through a list of what he put on my face, because I don't want to bore you to tears as it was a pretty extensive list! 

His version of what he thought the makeover he gave me was to make me look "more natural", my version was to make me less TOWIE, and more fresh faced! I ended up taking away Perfection Lumiere, Bronze Universale, a Rouge Allure lipstick, Le Crayon Levres lip pencil & a Stylo Yeux eyeliner. This totalled to around $171, which was an excessive amount to spend considering my trip hadn't technically started! I don't regret it though as some of the products I'm pleased I purchased at duty-free prices as I wasn't too impressed with them!
I will probably be reviewing these each in turn so apologies if my blog is a bit Chanel-orientated at the moment!

Alice XOXO