Thursday, August 26, 2010

Millionise: To share

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Magical Valentine Nails

I'm not sure if this stays the right side of glittery or crosses over into Bonne-Bell-My-Little-Pony madness. I love it anyway.

O.P.I. Love Will Blossom from the Valentine Glitters 2009 Collection (released in Japan & the UK).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Part One of Purchases Over The Holidays: Benefit Celebutante

Hi! Many things have changed in my life.

  1. We've moved to a lovely flat near Peckham Rye park with a view of the South Bank.
  2. I've started temping. And I'm getting like a fairly decent pay as well.
  3. I started getting into Star Trek.
All in all I'm doing much better than I thought I would be last year. I've obtained many, many lovely new things in my life since I last posted and would like to show you. These include a one of those MAC holiday things, a NYX makeup artist set, my first OPI nail polish ever, and an assortment of cheap things, but to start off with I'll post about the Benefit Celebutante palette.

I love it.

I was a bit iffy about buying it because it looks a bit boring and Benefit are kind of gimmicky, so I hassled James to get me it for Christmas but he encouraged me to buy it myself when we were in Boots, and so I did.

It's amazing.

The amazement isn't immediately obvious. At first glance it's another neutral palette.

I love the Dallas blush. It's a very subtle colour.

With flash

Without flash

It's like a natural rosy colour on me.

The eyeshadows are very soft and pigmented. I have become increasingly disillusioned with MAC eyeshadows and after trying these I might be inclined to try out some Benefit ones.

One of them is called Leggy and one Dandy Brandy.

I like the light (I assume a highlight) colour a whole lot. It's brilliant and, most importantly, blendable so it's not starkly white. The brown I can do with or without, it's pretty easily duplicated but I can't deny it's good quality.

LTR: Lady's Choice lipstick (Lana), No Competition lipstick (Betty), I'm with the band lipgloss.

There are two lipsticks associated with the imaginary Benefit archetype personality women, and a lipgloss. I really like the Lady's Choice lipstick which is like a mauvey nude on and not sheer so it shows up on my pigmented lips. The other one is okay too and they're both flattering on me, but it looks kind of ordinary to me? The lipgloss is pigmented and heavily shimmery and has a really sweet kind of artifical scent so is not really my top lipgloss if only because of the weird-ass smell. It's a really familiar smell but I can't quite pinpoint it. It bugs me when I wear it. I need to know what it is.

I like the little double-ended brush: fluff shadow/talent brush. I use both ends for eyeshadow though I guess one end is supposed to be for your lips or something and I find the bristles soft, kinda like a nice, furry cat.

Other things you get are: Benetint and High Beam. I use a faux Benetint by MeMeMe called Pussycat Lip & Cheek Tint (also rose-scented), and honestly I don't find the real Benetint any different.

I have Moon Beam, and I compared it with High Beam:

I have very dry skin. It is winter.

I've used High Beam as a highlight and when you blend it out it's alright, but I like the Moon Beam better. It's less brazenly white on me and has a cute pink sheen (Benefit website says: 'apricot'). I also fear mixing High Beam in with my foundation or moisturiser because it might be too pale and will make me look a bit unearthly, like in LOTR and Cate Blanchett starts to glow? I mean, you'd like to be glowy, but not luminescent.

The plus point is the High Beam in this kit comes with a little doe foot applicator instead.

A huge huge negative for the entire kit is that everything is tiny.

The lipsticks are like a gwp size or something. I can see that this would be a terrific neutral kit for travel and things: it comes in a cute box, instructions, its own brushes, etc. For the price it's a bit weird to purchase little gwp sizes of stuff. The High Beam, Benetint and lipgloss are 2.5ml, the lipsticks 1.2g, the eyeshadows 1.2g, and Dallas is 3.0g. I figured it's okay since I have a nice collection of makeups to choose from and it's a nice way to try out Benefit items. It's just a bit on the expensive side.

I paid RRP for it before Christmas but it's now selling for £20 or something in Boots. It made me a bit sad, but if I'd waited for it to go on sale I wouldn't have been able to use it over Christmas.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Some time ago I saw an ad for Avon's Spectracolor lipstick featuring Reese Witherspoon, darling of the direct selling cosmetics universe. It's supposed to give you 7 colours in 1 lipstick, enabling you to carry only a very small purse to the Emmy awards, just like Reese Witherspoon. I talked to a friend about it, who also confessed to having an urge to buy this lipstick after seeing the ad. We're not really huge Avon people and I have only seen Reese Witherspoon in God-awful movies like Sweet Home Alabama (Legally Blonde was kinda good), so it was all a bit odd.

Anyway, I ended up buying that lipstick off Ebay and it's a total lie.

Does this look like seven colours to you?

No. It looks like two, maybe three different shades if I'm being generous.

The pretext for this lipstick is a terrible pretense. Most of the colours are the same, and the dial exists mostly because we're suckers for gimmicks (see: Vibrating Mascara). There's a dial which ostensibly allows you to 'turn up the intensity' but realistically, since the lipstick is much lighter and less pigmented than real lipstick, you have two shades to work with: sheer pink, and sheer purple which, to its credit, if you layer it on does look kind of like what Reese Witherspoon has on in the commercial, if you'd applied it carefully and heavily and used lipliner.

Which is another thing. What are these seven lip products that this chunky plastic monstrosity wishes to replace? I need lip balm and possibly a lipstick or a lipgloss, or for very fancy occasions, a lipliner. Any spare lip products rattling around in my bag remain because I'm lazy. I suggest that most of this lip product handbag clutter that supposedly inflicts women on a regular basis revolves around things that a 7-in-one lipstick and lipgloss can't replace, like lipbalm, lip pencils, and lip brushes. Anyway, why would I take a bulky twisty lipstick with a cap that keeps falling off, when I can pack a flat lip palette that will take up less space. The lipstick itself is huge, far bigger than any normal lipsticks I have. A lipstick, lipgloss and lipliner would take up less space in my bag than this Spectracolor thing does.

The applicator sucks ass too. It's similar to the Too Faced Glamour Gloss applicator except with a weird smooth plastic tip with large perforations instead of a sponge-tip which would make more sense, and feel less cold and hard and cheap on your mouth.

The other colour you see in the swatch is Mary Kay's Apple Berry lipstick.

I'm not really sure why I have it even.

It's apparently Mary Kay's best selling colour, and the colour of choice for "A Kiss of Country", a campaign that country music, battered women and Jewel Kilcher. I got it from Ebay which is apparently what you do to a) buy Mary Kay lipsticks for 1.99, and b) avoid scary Mary Kay ladies.

It's okay. I'd describe it as a very Mary Kay colour, a kind of grown-up colour that is mostly inoffensive but just a little bit in your face.

It's a kind of metallic berry-orange-red and I mean, it's okay. It looks like it's an attractive colour on camera so maybe I'd wear it if I needed a photo taken. Otherwise I'd wear this colour to work or an official worky thing or a (large) family dinner or something, but not for fun. No. Not fun.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Collection 2000 BMX Bandit

One layer of Collection 2000 BMX Bandit. It's so much better than Barry M nail polishes which are more expensive and go on watery and streaky. This applies easily and covers well with one coat, dries quickly, and is the prettiest periwinkle blue. I think it actually might be the colour of my Periwinkle Crayola crayon I liked when I was little. Total win.

BMX Bandit is part of the Collection 2000 Hot Looks nail polish which includes 80s colour names like Button Moon (weirdly a blue-green not yellow),and Dynasty (lilac). They're like less than 2 quid each but are often discounted at 2 for £3 or something like that.

Cargo in Boots

I am fond of the Cargo blush, even though I only ever had one and my husband hated the colour passionately (The Big Easy blush, kind of glow-in-the-dark on me).

There was a time when you could only get Cargo at selected large Sainsburys around the country. In Central London you could get it from the Gloucester Road Sainsburys, and you could only choose from a limited range of Cargo products. Now an even more limited range of Cargo products are available right in Boots, namely the Lash Activator they're advertising in Grazia, and this 7 in 7 kit that gives you 7 Cargo products (individual products not sold in Boots, but possibly available in a Cargo-carrying Sainsburys some distance away) and it's £35.

Cargo OneBase foundation in 02 (Light medium) - the 7 in 7 kits available in American Sephora comes in three different kits with different colours, but I think Boots has a different kit with only has the Light medium foundation.
Essential palette in warm neutral - each strip is labelled with where you should apply it.
Black eye pencil
Lipliner in a 'neutral rose'
Lipgloss with 'Timestrip' in a 'shimmering dusty rose'. Timestrip is a little window in the lipgloss cap that turns red. When it's totally red it's time for you to throw out your gloss. Apparently this lasts nine months.

The kit contains the traditional default neutral colours in kits. Good for Christmas. Possibly excellent for Christmas, since everything's full-size and you could technically separate the items and repackage them for different people.

The Timestrip lipgloss is kind of gimmicky (like many things in Cargo: blu-ray, Timestrip, plantlove), but it's things like it that make me feel all old school and frugal, and only have two or three lipglosses at a time, and throw them out every year in an organised way. The downside to the Timestrip gloss would be the guilt you feel when tossing out a relatively new, not inexpensive gloss when you know you've got years of gloss in your kit. Giant Juicy Tubes and tubs of tinted lip conditioner.

This article says to keep lipstick only a year, and cream blush even less.

Maybe it's time they started making smaller (and proportionately cheaper) tubes of lipgloss and lipstick, and especially mascara. Tubes one person could actually use up. I like those small gwp mascaras from Estee Lauder or whatever because I change mascara every three months, which is apparently what you should do. My current favourite mascara is Benefit Bad Gal Lash, and I sure as hell won't buy a full size every three months.

It's great though. It's great. I like the big bristly brush

Alternatively, I (and you) could pare down our more perishable/non-powder cosmetics to the most basic, bearing in mind that most colours could be mixed. And we don't really need 10 shades of pinky-peach lipstick in our collection.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Urban Decay Gash

,I've still been hunting for a good dark red lipstick. I've always liked Urban Decay and hopped by their counter to try some on. I used to have the Gash lipgunk but it made me look like a tranny - just not a good look for me - so I tried the Gash lipstick and lipliner, which look kind of different.

Gash looks like a true red rather than the deep blood red I wanted, and the 24/7 lip pencil looks purple. I'm glad I didn't get them both off the internet. I could use the lipliner with the old UD pleather pencils in Rubber and Perversion but it's too cool toned to give that blood red look I want.