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

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

NYX single eyeshadow swatches

Happy Birthday to Me, etc etc.

Anyway, in a break away from the Jen’s swatching norm, I thought I would leave the lip stuff for a while and break out a few eyeshadows.

First post is for the NYX single eyeshadows. I don’t own a great many of these – to be honest, despite the cheapness of NYX, I do still favour MAC and NARS for eyeshadows, and in any case my daytime looks aren’t daring enough to warrant buying shedloads of the little beggars.

So, what about the formula? Well, so far as I can gather, there are several finishes to the NYX eyeshadows: matte, shimmer, glitter, sheer, frost, and metallic. I have to confess I haven’t got a Scooby-doo what finishes mine are.

With the exception of Prune, which is a bit on the hard side, I have found the formula to be soft and buttery, but the shimmery/glittery ones do experience some fall out so primer is a must, as is a gentle hand. Frosted Ocean was a bit of a one-off usage - purchased to wear to an eighties themed party and never touched since. Which is a shame, because it actually applies quite sheerly, as you can see in the swatch below. I might have to try to come up with some daytime appropriate looks to get some more use out of it.


Top row L-R: Iced Mocha, Nutmeg, Peach Bronze, Vanilla Shimmer; Bottom row L-R: Utopia Gold, Prune, Green Tea, Frosted Ocean       

Top row (in same order as above)
Bottom row (in same order as above)
 I also own a few of the palettes; I will be swatching those in due course. 


Monday, 28 May 2012

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light - my summer best friend

Well, we have officially reached the summer dilemma – foundation or tinted moisturiser?

It’s the age-old problem, isn’t it. The British summer comes around (albeit for two weeks), the thermometers rise to the giddy heights of *gulp* 23 degrees, and even the most relaxed and cool amongst us will have the dreaded………….. sweat patches. Now, thankfully I don’t suffer that badly – forehead and under the bottom lip, mostly – but on certain days when it is hot AND you’ve got no deodorant left because you forgot to go to Boots AND the cat has been sick on the carpet AND you didn’t do any ironing over the weekend so have only got winter shirts you can wear AND you’re running late for work AND the fan is in the loft AND the stupid next door neighbours have decided to have a barbecue just as you've put your washing out……… before you know it, you are…….. glowing, somewhat.

Fret ye not, fellow perspirers!!!!!! I HAVE A SOLUTION.

Firstly, calm the fudge down. There’s no point rushing round like a Tazmanian devil when it’s so hot even Lawrence of Arabia would need a bit of a sit down.

Secondly, try some of this. Estee Lauder Double Wear Light.

Is it a tinted moisturiser? Is it a foundation? Well, actually it’s a foundation – a lighter, less heavy-coverage version of their critically acclaimed Double Wear (which for me might as well be called Can’t Wear, because it clogs up pores I didn’t even know I had and takes about two years to get rid off at the end of the day. But I suppose that’s its selling point, really).

From the Estee Lauder website:

“15-hour wear, light as air—long-wear makeup is now lightweight makeup.

Makeup That Keeps Up
·       Fresh, natural, comfortable.
·       Goes on sheer, leaves skin free to breathe all day.
·       Controls oil.
·       Resists smudging and won't "melt" off through heat and humidity.

For a look that stays vibrant and fresh whether it's a workday, a workout or a weekend. Smooth it on once and don't think twice about it.”

Now, normally I don’t mind putting on foundation. I know some ladies find it a chore that they would rather avoid, but I actually really like the ritual of applying and blending. It’s therapeutic, yano. But sometimes, usually at the weekend, I just can’t muster up the enthusiasm to wash all of my brushes and put it on properly, and on those days this Double Wear Light really comes into its own. You can apply this stuff with your fingers as slap-dash as you like, and it still manages to make your skin look more even, plump and gorgeous.

So, what do you get?

Well, the coverage ain’t up to “normal” Double Wear standards. But, it definitely evens out skin-tone and manages to cover up most of my old spot scars, with just a touch of concealer needed on a few little tiny places here and there. Nothing, but nothing, will cover up the dark circles underneath my eyes – but I’ve become resigned to this over a period of several years so wasn’t too surprised to find that this stuff doesn’t, either.

BUT, it gives better coverage (and staying power) than a tinted moisturiser, without being any more difficult to apply.  And, more importantly, it comes from the Double Wear family so also manages to last the distance on an average British summer’s day.

For those of you of a sensitive disposition, look away now – thar be some pics of bare skin acomin’.

NB: I wear Intensity 1.0, which is nowhere near as light as it looks on the Estee Lauder website. My skin is currently hovering around the NW15-20 mark.

I love squeezy tubes - hygienic, and easy to dispense just the right amount. Although you can't really see from this pic, it also contains SPF 10. Not enough to skip your normal sunscreen, but a nice addition nonetheless.  
It isn't QUITE as orange as these swatches may lead you to believe - but you definitely have to limit yourself to a maximum of two layers before your inner Oompa Loompa starts to shine through
Left - bare skin (just a thin layer of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm); Right -  one (generous) layer of Double Wear Light, with a light dusting of NARS loose powder in Flesh

Conclusion: a lighter make-up base that doesn’t aquaplane round your face on top of the layer of sweat, while still giving slightly better coverage than your average tinted moisturiser. WIN WIN.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light can be bought from their website (amongst other places) for the princely sum of £26.50.

What do you think? Will you be loving it or leaving it this summer?


Sunday, 27 May 2012

NYX lipliner pencils - on-lip swatches

Disclaimer: I realise that the volume of recent NYX-related posts may make you think I am affiliated with them in some way. I'm not, I just own a lot of their stuff, because it's such decent quality for so little money.

Anyway. I’m not going to carry on with my rant and rave about how luvverly my lips now are. I can resist on this occasion. For once, then, let’s allow the swatches to do the talking; see if you can tell which ones suck all of the moisture out of my lips out like the face-hugger stage of the Alien in the film with the same name.


810 Natural - most drying lip product  I own. Look at those lip wrinkles! Yeuch.
828 Ever - the perfect foil for Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle
834 Prune - I hate this colour - don't know what possessed me to get it. Oh, I remember - it was CHEAP.
844 Deep Red - perfection personified. It makes red lipsticks pop and last all night - I use it with Revlon Really Red (matte) and MAC's Ruby Woo for extra punch
849 Beige - the shimmers are a lot less drying than the mattes - but you pay for it in longevity. Gorgeous colour though
850 Nectar - my all-time favourite. I wear it on its own for a long-lasting, natural daytime lip, then under Vitamin or Watermelon for extra staying power in the evening
858 Nude Pink - another one I'm not a fan of. This sort of light, milky pink colour does me no favours when it goes on as matte as this one - look at those lip flakes!!!!! Where's my Lanolips........
860 Peekaboo Neutral - another one to wear on it's own, MLBSD (my lips but slightly drier), but fine with a bit of lipbalm underneath or a sheer gloss on top

See any you fancy?


Sunday, 20 May 2012

On-lip NYX lipstick swatches - part deux

Following last week’s swatches, I have finally trudged my way through the collection. I don’t have as many as I thought I did – some have found new homes, some have found their way into the bin – but still took a while to get through!

I have really enjoyed swatching my way through my lipstick drawer – it has made me remember some old friends, and dust off some colours that I thought I would never be brave enough to wear; seemingly, courage comes with getting older, as I now would have no qualms about wearing any of these. Yep, even the mother-fudging bright pink at the end.

Some of them, the shimmer finishes in particular, would benefit from being applied over a nude lip-liner as the slip can be outrageous. Although it means your lips won’t dry out too badly, it does mean that the colour can, and will, end up in your eyebrows.

Anyway, swatcheroo:

Chambord - shimmery nude, leans brown
Mars - satin finish nude, leans verrrrrry brown
Doll - muted, mauve rose (satin finish). One of my faves
Georgia - lightened baby pink, icy shimmer
Tea Rose - neutral, milky-but-not-too-milky rose pink - LOTS of slip, but perfect with a dark, smoky eye
Milan - lovely, but somewhat pointless, colour - my lips but....... my lips. Slightly darker, perhaps.
Darling - shimmery, icy taupe with minimal pink tones. Not for me, sadly - CORPSE FACE!!!
Miracle - I love this one. I hate that I couldn't get it to photograph properly - it's an in-your-face fuchsia pink with slight coral undertones. Not one to wear with a smoky eye or a bright blush colour, unless you wanted to potentially be mistaken for Toni Basil - and who am I to judge you?
So whaddya think? Any that take your fancy?

There are a few more I've got my eye on - and for £3.50 each, how can I resist?


Sunday, 13 May 2012

NYX lipsticks - on-lip swatches

Following my recent haul (which has brought my NYX lipstick collection up to a very respectable 22), I thought it time to begin trying some on-lip swatches so you can see what they actually look like, and seeing as my lips are now visions of divine plumpness, this is actually a very real possibility! Ooh-er!

Anyway, I don’t think I quite realised how long this would take, given that some of these colours STAIN LIKE A BIYATCH, and using Clinique “Lids, Lashes and Lips” remover over and over again has covered me in a gunky, oily residue which is making me feel like I need to have a bath in bleach.

Ok, here are my first snaps – I’ll hopefully manage to do the rest in another couple of batches later on in the week. Once my poor lips and chin have fully recovered from the ordeal of this first round.

Bare lips, for reference. They're quite rosy, so lipsticks tend to look pinker on me. You have been warned!
Apollo - a burnished copper, with shimmer
B52 - a muted, darkened rose-brown
Celebrate - a burnt coppery brown, slight shimmer
Heredes - mid-toned, warmed brown, with slight orange undertone
Snow White - deep, vampy cool-toned red. This is a lot of hard work and very pigmented, I just put a thin layer on with a lip brush and still ended up with some in my hair and under my fingernails. This stuff SPREADS.
Spellbound - deep, Barbie-like pink with a satin finish - loads of slip, this one won't last longer than five minutes unless you stand very still in a cupboard without speaking/eating/drinking/breathing.
Vitamin - a very shimmery, light corally-peach. Works well over the Nectar slim lipliner
Watermelon - if it weren't for the fact I took the bloomin' pictures, I would swear that this one is Vitamin again. However it does differ slightly - more pinky than corally, although still a shimmery-peach tone, and a little more muted than Vitamin
 More to come soon!


Saturday, 5 May 2012

NYX lipstick haul and swatches

Following my post about how stupendously “pillowy” my lips now are after having used Lanolips ointment for a few weeks (reviewed here), I went a tiny bit mad on the NYX website. In my defence, this is only because they sent me an email about half-price lippies – when this sort of thing happens, my brain sort of shuts down, my eyes glaze over, and my hands automatically reach for the laptop to place orders for many shiny pretty things. In this instance, I think I am to be excused as the promotion meant that the lipsticks were a mere £1.75 each – and at those prices it would be frankly rude not to pick up a couple. Or seven.

In my sale-induced state of semi-consciousness, I must have also put some lipliners and retractable lip-liners into the basket as well, because they were in the package when it arrived last week. Nuffin’ to do wiv me, guvnor.

Anyway, unfortunately NYX made a boo-boo and sent me “Rea” when I blatantly ordered “Frappucino” – I’ve emailed them, so hopefully they will sort it out, but I’m not holding out much hope (although for £1.75 I guess it’s a mistake I could suffer). In any case, there’s no chance I could wear Rea – it’s a satin-matte concealer-lips nude, which would make me look like a corpse. 

** UPDATE ** After only one day, NYX have responded to my email with their full apologies, and will be sending the right one out to me toute suite. Fair play to them. 

L-R: Snow White, Heredes, B52, Celebrate, Apollo, Mars, Rea
L-R: Snow White, Heredes, B52, Celebrate, Apollo, Mars, Rea

L-R: Lipliners - Nude Pink, Peekaboo Neutral, Ever; Retractable eyeliners - Black, Deep Purple

I must admit, you kind of take a leap of faith when buying NYX round lipsticks. Not only because the online swatches might as well just be pictures of someone’s Auntie Jean, for all the good they do – but also, the formula is inconsistent. Not just between finishes, but within the same finish, which is a bit weird. So some of the crèmes are fine, others are rubbish – and some of the lustres are great while others are frankly pish.

The retractable eyeliner in Black is a re-purchase – in fact, this is my third one! – and as I had great experiences with this formula, I picked up the Deep Purple, too – only to be bitterly disappointed. I haven’t tried it on the eye yet, but based on this hand-swatch it looks like it’s going to be one of those patchy and sheer jobs that take a lot of work, which I just cannot be bothered with.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun with my “pick-random-colours-off-the-website” session, so the only lippie I knew I definitely wanted was Snow White, while the others were a bit of a gamble. Seems to have paid off, in the main – I know I’ll get some wear out of these (especially Mars, which seems to be the perfect pinky-nude for me), but I will even try out some of the darker ones, so all in all, GOOD HAULAGE. 

NYX products can be bought directly from NYX in the UK here.