"Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest." - Christian Dior

Friday, 25 October 2013

A few cheeky additions to the MAC collection…….. Syrup, Craving, Crosswires and See Sheer

Literally, a quick in and out today. You know how much I love MAC lipsticks – well, certain formulations, anyway – and with payday looming I thought I would add a few to the collection.  Three out of the four are based entirely on a review by the lovely Estee of Essiebutton (and buying on recommendation makes me feel completely and utterly vindicated in spending the money……!). The shape of her lips is fantastic (and she's got gorgeous eyes, too - some people have all the luck!) and she really rocks these shades - it will take a bit more work on my slightly thinner lips but definitely worth it.

Syrup (Lustre) – according to the MAC website, this is a “cloudy pink”. It's not really anything of the sort - it's more of a sheer mauve.
Craving (Amplified Crème) – described as a “burst of plum”. Can't argue with that.
Crosswires (Cremesheen) – a “clean, pinky-orange”. Hmm, kinda sorta - more of a coral, I would say. Definitely a wearable one though, due to the slight pink tinge it has, which stops it leaning too warm.
See Sheer (Lustre) – “grapefruit pink”. No. No no no. This is another coral - sheerer than Crosswires, letting the pinky-ness of my lips to show through a bit, which stops it teetering into the abyss of "orange", from which there would be no return. I hate orange lipsticks.

L-R: Syrup, Craving, Crosswires, See Sheer

L-R: Syrup, Craving, Crosswires, See Sheer
Note to self - must invest in a lightbox. The colours have come out a little darker in the photo than they are in real life - not overly so, though.

As always, the Lustres provide a glossier, sheerer finish; Cremesheen and Amplified Crème still feel quite nourishing (or, at least, not completely moisture-stripping) but with medium to full coverage pigment and a little less slip than Lustres (and therefore better wear time – I average two to three hours if I don’t eat, drink or speak, whereas Lustres give me an hour at best).

Next on the list of wants – Plumful, Fanfare and Vegas Volt. I am definitely challenging my own personal status quo – I’m really embracing the “louder” shades, even if I do tend to wear them as a sheer stain during the daytime!  :-)

Any more I should try?


Saturday, 24 August 2013

My two fave MAC lipsticks – Patisserie and Brick-o-la

Just a quick one today, as the actress said to the bishop.

I’ve said it before, but I don’t rate most of the MAC lipstick formulations.  There are only two I can really wear – the Lustres (which have fantastic slip, a subtle sheerness to the colour, and a five-minute wear time - sigh), and the Amplified Crème, which although isn’t actively moisturising doesn’t actually strip my lips like turpentine. Cremesheens are ok, but are essentially just expensive lipbalms, so why bother?

So, if I had to pick my favourite MAC lipstick then, it has to be one of those formulations – so I thought I would pick one of each to share with you feckers today. I wear both of these often, perhaps even more so than my beloved Burberry Lip Covers, which means these bad boys must be gooooooooood.  After my horror with the brownness of Half 'n' Half I must admit I haven’t bought many MAC lipsticks recently, apart from re-purchasing these two little darlings. I rarely finish a lipstick, so to be on second-rounds with ANY lipstick, regardless of how good they are, is no mean feat.

So, both beloved and coveted, but both perform very different functions.

"Patisserie" is described on the MAC website as a “sheer, creamy neutral pink”. The online swatches may as well be pictures of kittens for all the good they do, and this one is no exception.

In my experience, this lippie translates into a sheer peachy-pink on the lips, perfect for the “peaches and cream” looks I have been preferring of late (because they’re so bloody quick to do in the mornings). “Patisserie” doesn’t impart a great amount of colour, but definitely has a lifting and brightening effect on the rest of the face. A must-have for pale-skinned beauties - on deeper or more golden skintones, I would imagine the colour could get a little bit “lost”, due to it’s lack of punch in the pigment stakes.
Next, the amplified crème “Brick-O-La”. MAC describes this as a "mid-tone berry", which I also think doesn’t do it justice. It’s one of those not-really-reds that I tend to be favouring at work – a polished, darker look to the lips without going all out with a bright blue-based red. It reminds me a little of Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle (and we know how much I love that one!), a tad darker perhaps, but at almost half the price.

Top - Brick-O-La; Bottom - Patisserie

Bare lips


I also quite like the look of “Cosmo”, but the online swatch is almost indiscernible from Brick-o-La so I probably won’t bother. 

MAC lipsticks are available in store or through their website for £15 each.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

QUICK REVIEW - Burberry Beauty Eyeshadow Quad – No 07 Pink Taupe

Just a quick one today, folks – having been at work for 21 days in a row, unfortunately makeup has had to take a back seat of late, but I HAD to show you this.

I am a big fan of Burberry, as you well know – absolutely everything I have tried so far (which isn’t much, but enough to fall in love) has been of super high quality, as befits such a well-known brand.

A few ninja swatches, then, of one of their eyeshadow quads. Most of the quads are “normal” combinations – highlighter, lid shade, crease shade, eyeliner – but something about this one called out to me. A slightly stranger combination than usual, but very well thought through and each colour co-ordinates beautifully with its compatriots both in the pan and on the eye.  The colours blend well without turning too “muddy”.

Pink Taupe comprises a shimmery beige-gold taupe; a softly muted, lightly shimmering mossy green; a mid-toned matte dusty rose; and a matte cool brown with purple undertones.


I quite fancy trying No 06 Plum Pink, as well. I think I also need to try their sheer foundation……… sigh. I suppose this is the only drawback of lusting after a brand like Burberry - this is going to end up being an expensive love affair.

Burberry makeup products can be bought from their website in the UK here.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Burberry Beauty – Fresh Glow

I admit – I am usually a sucker for hype, as my Drawer of Uselessness will attest to (actually, I think that will become two drawers very soon. I should just throw it all away, really – or at least find it all new homes). But so far, I have resisted all companies’ attempts to sway me to buy primer. 

I just…….. don’t see the point, really. My skin is dry, so I don’t usually get the problem of foundation slipping down my face/creasing eyeshadows etc – mine is usually the opposite problem, i.e. that it all clings unseemingly to flaky patches so that I look like I’ve got early-onset leprosy. So, my make-up priming routine consists of moisturising (as per normal), then maybe moisturising again (if I’m having a Gobi Desert day), then on days where I’ve got client meetings I’ll also put a thin layer of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm on, then….. away you go. JD.

Wellll……. When it comes to Burberry, my magpie tendencies kick in. And I must admit, I have heard nothing but good things in the beauty blogs I normally read, so I thought – do you know what? I’m going to take the plunge.

According to the website,  Fresh Glow is…… “all-in-one make-up and skincare product to moisturise and highlight. Innovative luminous fluid base for instant radiance. One shade perfects all skin tones. Apply as a moisturiser for a radiant glow or use as a shimmering highlighter.”


If any product is worth its hype, THIS IS IT.

I'll say one thing for Burberry - their packaging is classy. Although this is heavy plastic rather than glass,
so much better for travelling

Camera just wouldn't pick up the GAWJUSNESS of this stuff. on the far right is a patch that I blended out - to the naked eye, it's a slightly visible patch of radiant loveliness which really isn't coming across here. Grr. 

Right then – what do you want a primer to do?

….. make your foundation stay on longer?
Check. I’m finding that my make-up stays put until I get home, which is a mini-miracle  in its own right (usually I top up a bit at lunch and then it has still all but disappeared by the time I get in the car – so I’m getting another good two or three hours if I use Fresh Glow).

…… give your skin an “inner radiance”?
Cliché aside, check. There is a very fine shimmer in this which is NOT DISCO-GLITTERBALL TERRITORY. It genuinely makes my skin look more refreshed, and……. dare I say it…… younger? Plumper, certainly, which is pretty much the same thing.

… mix nicely with your normal foundation to make a perfect light summer-appropriate base?
Check. Tried and tested with Lancome Teint Miracle, Diorskin Nude, Revlon Colourstay, Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, and it works with every single one.

…. also double as a subtle highlighter?
Check. Along the cheekbones and high points of the face, this will give you an inner-lit glow. NOT a highlighter in the truest sense (i.e. Guerlain Meteorites, Becca Skin Perfector etc) but this will give your skin a little something extra - which may leave people wondering whether your glow comes from having copious amounts of grunty-monkey-sex with the postman, or something. Or not.

….. work on its own as a radiance booster even on non-makeup days?
Check. Check check check check.

At the risk of making this sound like a gushing torrent of “can-do-no-wrong”, this only comes in one colour - fine for us pasty Patsys, but not so good for the deeper-skinned lovelies out there. *NINJA EDIT* It now also comes in a slightly darker shade, "Golden Radiance", while this lighter one that I have got is now called "Nude Radiance" on the website. Yay!

Also, this stuff is PRICEY. £34, from the Burberry website. That’s thirty-four English pounds. However, this stuff will LAST. I have been using it pretty much every day for a fortnight and I’m barely made a dent in it – a little goes a long way, so this will last a good four or five months, even if I keep using it every day (which I probably won’t, once the novelty wears off).

Caught up in product hype? GUILTY. But at least this one lives up to it.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

QUICK REVIEW: Burberry Beauty – Lip Cover lipsticks: Antique Rose, Sepia, Brick Red

Another drive-by review today – about another product I love. Burberry seems to get all of their products right – whether it’s lipsticks, eyeshadows, or base products (especially the Fresh Glow which I have recently bought – review coming soon!). Everything is done with taste, class and ridiculously superior quality.

In the spotlight today are the Lip Cover lipsticks (of which I own three, which is nowhere near enough). Having also got a couple of Lip Velvets and Lip Mists, I can safely say that there is no bad apple among the formulas, but that they do very different things.

According to the Burberry UK website, “……….Burberry Lip Cover adds a touch of radiance. The lightweight combination of nourishing oils and gel dispersed pigment ensures intense moisture and long lasting colour. Burberry Lip Cover contains anti-aging ceramides for fuller lip definition. Apply like a normal lipstick or apply to the finger and press into the lips for an effortless natural colour.”

Although I have next to no idea what ceramides are, I think the description is pretty spot-on. The Lip Covers are more of a satin finish, meaning they are more nourishing, have good slip and keep my lips relatively hydrated. The drawback to this of course is the re-application – wear time for me is less than an hour, but to be honest when the packaging is this luxe and the product itself is so damn awesome, reapplying this bad boy is no chore.

The three shades I have are:

No. 11 Antique Rose – a soft dusty  mauve-rose, which applies a little “milky”-looking on me, but that disappears once it has settled for five minutes.

No. 12 Sepia – a lovely deep, neutral rose shade with brown tones that is dark enough to give definition and pizzazz, but not so over the top that it isn’t work appropriate.

No. 19 Brick Red – a deep, velvety red that can also be work appropriate if blotted, but can also be layered up for night-time oomph. Nowhere near as bright as it's Lip Velvet cousin, Military Red - so infinitely more wearable. I'll get a lot of mileage out of this one.


L-R: Brick Red, Sepia, Antique Rose
Top: Antique Rose; Middle: Sepia;  Bottom: Brick Red
Bare lips, for reference
No. 11 Antique Rose
No. 12 Sepia
No. 19 Brick Red
Due to the slippiness of these, and the opaque coverage (swatches below are one-swipers), I would recommend copious blotting and lip-brush application for these. I went for the “straight-out-of-the-bullet” approach for the lip swatches, and as you can see, it looks shoddy – not too bad for Antique Rose, but you need precision for the darker shades.

My wishlist is getting longer……. There are at least five other shades I NEED IN MY LIFE.

Burberry – is there nothing you get wrong?