Tuesday, 31 July 2012

MUA Lip Boom in It's A Situation and LMK

I've been meaning to review these for so long that I had nearly forgotten. I ordered these when I bought the Undressed palette. I'd been interested in the Lip Booms since their release and I saw the swatches, and I needed another purple lipstick (I'm becoming quite good at lying to myself these days) so I went for It's A Situation and LMK, the two darker shades.

Now, I'm not one hundred percent sure on who Alexandra Burke is, so I'm ignoring that part entirely.  The concept behind the Lip Booms is that you can create 4 different lip looks in one product. It features a lipstick at one end and a gloss at the other, which you can wear alone or together. As always with MUA packaging, it's all very nice and simple. If you're using both the lipstick and the gloss it's compact, but if you just want to use the lipstick for instance it's a little large to just slip into your handbag.

It's a Situation is the lighter of the two shades, and it's a lovely plum colour. It reminds me a tiny bit of MAC's Rebel, but a little more purple. It's dark but I think it's still quite wearable.

LMK is a darker plum, a few shades darker than It's A Situation. It might be rather dark for some people, but I really like it.

These lipsticks are matte, so I'd recommend applying a balm beforehand, as they can be a little drying. Before I bought these I'd heard that the wear time wasn't so good, but that hasn't been an issue for me. These last around 3-5 hours without eating or drinking on me before they begin to fade, and they stained my lips. The pigmentation is excellent.

It's A Situation and LMK

However, I can't say that I like the gloss as much as I like the lipsticks. It doesn't really apply evenly, and it feels a little gritty. It's vanilla scented, which is lovely. It's also very glittery, and the glitter is a little too chunky for my liking. I'm not that much of a lipgloss (or a glitter) fan anyway, and I would've bought these just for the lipsticks, so it's not too much of an issue for me.

As to be expected with MUA, these are very affordable. They cost £3 each, and they were two for £4 when I bought them.

Overall, I'm really happy with these. I doubt that I'll be wearing the gloss, but I love the lipsticks. Personally I'm really pleased to see some interesting and a little more dramatic shades from MUA.

Lip Booms retail for £3 from Superdrug and the MUA website.

Have you tried any of the Lip Booms? What did you think?

*unrelated note*

In other news, I'm debating changing the name of this blog. I have absolutely no idea what to yet (I'm open to ideas) as I was seriously experiencing a lack of inspiration when I made this blog. I'm not one hundred percent sure that I even like the name as it stands, it was a very spur of the moment decision and I'm wondering whether or not I need something a little more interesting...thoughts?

Disclosure: I bought these products myself.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

My Summer Reading List

Having time to read is most likely my favourite part of summer. During the year I am mostly preoccupied with reading for my course along with exams and coursework, so this time of year is really only the long period of time that I have to really sit down and work my way through my reading list. I'm heading off to Spain in a few weeks for 11 days, so I thought I'd do a bit of a breakdown of what I'm taking book-wise. I buy the majority of my books on Ebay. While I love having a brand new book, I just can't afford it. Most these were only around the £2 mark, so they're a little worn and battered.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien

I make an effort to read these at least once a year, and I have done so for about seven years or so now. I don't enjoy them any less than when I read them for the first time; they're still my favourite books and really shaped my interests in terms of literature and what I enjoy reading today. I really want to purchase all of my Tolkien books in hardback at some point. I found Unfinished Tales in hardback a few weeks ago so I've made a bit of a start!

Mort by Terry Pratchett

I always take at least one Terry Pratchett novel to read on the plane. I'm flying at a ridiculous time and flying always makes me a little stressed at the best of times, so I know I'll want something that's both easy to read and light-hearted to make the journey a little more enjoyable. Terry Pratchett never fails to cheer me up.

The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks

I read and enjoyed The Sword of Shannara a few months ago, so I decided to order another one as I really like Brooks' writing style. It's all very Tokienesque and not that original, but it's still very enjoyable and quite captivating too. I think I read The Sword of Shannara in less than a day.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This is one of those books that I read several years ago but can't actually remember that much about and therefore wanted to re-read. I went through a stage when I was about 12 or so where I read quite a few of the 'classics' and this was one of them. I think that reading it now might be a different experience since I now have a more developed background in literature and I'm much older. When I enjoy something I always make sure that I read it at least twice.

The Stormlight Archive: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

I'd heard of Brandon Sanderson previously as I know he finished Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time. I'd heard a few good reviews about this so I was really curious, and I found it on Ebay. I'm really looking forward to reading this, from what I've read on the internet it sounds very much like something that I will like. Should be interesting!

The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

I'm making it my mission this summer to actually finish the Wheel of Time. I read The Eye of the World last year, but with uni starting and all of the course changing hassle that I had to go through I never really got round to progressing any further than that, so I'm going to re-read The Eye of the World to trigger my memory and move onto The Great Hunt. I own all of the books up to Lord of Chaos.

Earthsea: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin

This was recommended to me awhile back, and I while I remember having a look for it in my local library I never managed to get hold of it, so I ordered it on Ebay so I can finally cross it off my list.

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

This was another book that I discovered when searching around for new reading material on the internet. I was a little surprised by the size of it (it is huge) so it should last me awhile. It sounds very much like my sort of thing, so I'm looking forward to reading this too.

This might seem like a lot to some people, but there's a very good chance that it won't even last me the duration of my holiday. I read a lot, so I also read quite quickly (my Dad says I don't read books, I devour them). I was supposed to be taking A Song of Ice and Fire as I own all seven books, but after I gave into temptation and read A Game of Thrones I ended up reading all seven in just under two weeks. I'm really looking forward to being able to start reading all of these! I'm going to have to clear out my bookcases to make some room though.

Are you going anywhere nice this year? What are you reading this summer?

Disclosure: I bought most of these books myself. LOTR was a birthday present I think, and I bought Mort with a gift voucher from my birthday.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Crush

I've always had a hit and miss relationship with Revlon. I bought the balm and stain at Christmas and really disliked them, but I was really interested to see if they'd improved on them at all with these, as I really like the idea and I love the lip butters. I wanted to try Clinique's Chubby Sticks but they're too expensive for me and after hearing mixed reviews I decided that Revlon was definitely a safer, cheaper option! I bought Crush.

The packaging is nice and simple, and they're in crayon format. They're just the right size so application is fast and easy. They're twist up pencils too, so there's no need to sharpen them, which is fantastic, it makes them much easier to use over a long period of time. They also have a minty smell which I don't quite like, as I find it a little too overpowering. I prefer subtle scents.

At first these are slightly moisturising, but they have a bit of strange texture. I was talking to Beauty in Japan about these on Twitter, and she described them as 'waxy' which I think is exactly the right word to use. I was expecting these to be really moisturising so I was a little disappointed, even more so when I realised  that they enhanced the dry areas on my lips and over a few hours became quite drying. I always have horrendously dry lips at this time of year anyway, and I found that Crush made them look much worse, when I had expected the opposite. It clung to the dry areas of my lips and made them look much darker.

The pigmentation isn't too bad with these either, it requires several swipes of it to really show up, and the colour is buildable. Crush is somewhat darker than I was expecting, but it is pretty. It's a nice pinky plum shade.

The colour did last a considerable amount of time before fading, and the colour stained my lips. I'd say they lasted around 3 hours or so before beginning to fade. The shine wore off after an hour or so, or after eating and drinking. 

These are also a lot more affordable than the Chubby Sticks at £7.99 each. I had a £2 off voucher and since they were already £5.99 at Boots I bought Crush for only £3.99. 

This was one of those products that I really wanted to love, but unfortunately I'm just not swayed by these. It might be better if your lips aren't as dry as mine, but I was hoping that these would be the perfect summer lip product, and for me, they're not. The lip butters are much better in my opinion.

The Revlon Balm Stains cost £7.99 and can be purchased from Boots and Superdrug.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Lush Nottingham Emotional Brilliance Launch

On Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Emotional Brilliance launch at my local Lush in Nottingham.

The blogger event began at around 6:15, and we were split into two groups. We were then each given a chance to spin the colour wheel. You close your eyes, spin the wheel and when you hear it come to a stop, open them and select the first three colours that you notice first. The first indicates your strength or weakness, and I picked out Decisive. The second is your subconcious, or something that you want, and I picked Feeling Secure. The final colour that you choose is your aspiration, or something that's at the heart of your character, and I pulled out Passionate, which I think is quite accurate! The whole idea is definitely an interesting one and something that appeals to me personally as I own a tarot card deck and it's a very similar concept.

Feeling Secure, Decisive and Passionate. This photograph was taken with flash.

After choosing my colours I was allowed to play with them in front of a mirror. My favourite of the three products turned out to be the red liquid lipstick, Decisive, which was surprising since I'd have betted on me loving the purple eyeliner the most! It was lovely to apply, and felt very soft on my lips. The pigmentation is incredible. One dip of the applicator was more than enough to cover my lips, and it was still going strong several hours later. I didn't buy anything at the event but I am very tempted to go back and pick one of the liquid lipsticks up.

This new range consists of 30 colours, including liquid lipsticks, eyeshadows and eyeliners. However, the products can still be swapped around and used for other things, they're really quite versatile. There's also a new Desert Island range, which consists of  a bronzer, highlighter, mascara and translucent powder. I only saw the mascara so I wasn't able to photograph the other products in this range. All of the products are Vegan too.

Personally I really enjoyed the event. As always, it was lovely to meet some fellow local bloggers, and it was nice to be able to get a good look at the products. The whole colour therapy idea is something that appeals to me, although I'm aware that others might see it as little more than a fun gimmick. I do feel that the range is a little overpriced (the colours cost £14.50 each), I'd like them to be a tiny bit cheaper, but I was very impressed with the products, the liquid lipsticks in particular.

You can find out more about the Emotional Brilliance range the Desert Island products on the Lush website. If anybody has any questions you can also find Lush on Facebook and Twitter.

Did you attend one of these events? Are you interested by this range?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Black XS L'Exces For Her Fragrance

I was given this perfume a few weeks ago as a gift from my grandparents for passing my first year of university. I love the original Black XS and wear it on a daily basis, but I recently ran out so I was very happy when I was surprised with this one!

The packaging is quite different from the original, with the original having more decoration on the actual bottle. In store this had a little skull charm which looked lovely, I was quite disappointed to see that it wasn't included. I don't know if it's included in the large one since this is only the 30ml, but I was disappointed all the same. I love pretty perfume bottles (and anything with skulls), and this one is a little on the plain side, for me at least.

Black XS L'Exces has base notes of cashmere wood and black vanilla, heart notes of jasmine and rose absolute and top notes of neroli and black pepper.

I think the original Black XS is sweeter and a little more fruity, more of a daytime scent, whereas this one is a richer, deeper floral and more suited perhaps to night time wear. It still has a bit of fruity sweetness to it (particularly after a few hours of wear)  but it's nowhere near as sweet as the original. I think it's a more mature scent than the original. You only need a small amount of it, and I could still smell hints of it hours later, which I don't really think that I could with the original.

Overall I love this scent. It's expensive so I will be using it sparingly since I have the 30ml, but it's lovely. If the original was too sickly and sweet for you, I'd definitely recommend you have a look at this one.

Black XS L'Exces costs £31.50 for 30ml and £42.50 for 50ml from Debenhams. The prices seem to vary from store to store.

Have you tried any of the Black XS perfumes? What did you think?

Disclosure: I was given this perfume as a gift.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Nelly High Heels Nottingham Launch

Last Wednesday I went to the Nelly launch at Coco Tang in Nottingham after winning a ticket from Megan at Seek My Scribbles. The opportunity to go to events in my own city are very rare, and trips to London are very expensive so I was excited when I won. Becca also won (you can read her post here) and brought along Jade, so we all went together, which was nice.

I'd never actually heard of Coco Tang before (I'm not really the kind of student that goes to bars frequently), and I'm definitely glad that I wasn't on my own considering it's in quite a strange place! Fortunately a lot of people turned up (it was the promise of free heels!) so it wasn't too hard to spot when we were in the area. Lots of girls in very big shoes! Made little 4'11 me feel very, very small! I took my little shoot and point camera so a lot of the pictures are blurred. It doesn't deal with dark rooms very well.

Thank you to Becca who kindly let me borrow this picture.
They had lots of display cases containing the heels, and we were given cards to write down which three heels we liked the most. Not an easy choice! There was a lot to choose from, and they were all very pretty.  I have a love hate relationship with heels. I love looking at them, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to wear 90% of them. I have a minor disability, so my balance is completely off and I have to limit myself to sensible footwear that offers me some support. I've been trying to slowly start wearing higher shoes (I'm 4'11, this needs to happen) but it's going to be a long process! In the end I did manage to find three that I liked.

We all had a really nice time, it was well organised considering the amount of people that turned up. I'm going to be eagerly anticipating the arrival of my shoes in the post! A big thank you to Megan who I won the tickets from!

Did you manage to attend one of these events? What did you think?

Disclosure: I won a ticket for this event in a giveaway.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Scorn

It's going to be a very quick post today, I haven't been feeling so well recently so I've been a bit behind on posting. I'm going to work on getting some of my draft posts that I've been meaning to post for absolutely ages finished next week so hopefully I can start posting a little more frequently again.

As some of you may be aware, Illamasqua are currently having a 60% off sale. I love Illamasqua sales, they're an opportunity to buy products that would otherwise be too expensive. I think I've bought most of my Illamasqua products in sales! I bought lip gloss in Mina and nail polish in Scorn.

I'd been looking at Scorn previously, but never actually picked it up, so when I saw that it was £10 in the sale I thought it'd be a good opportunity to buy it since I don't really have a good black in my collection.

Scorn is a semi-matte black polish, and was made to go with their nail quills. It isn't chalky like most mattes, which I think is why I prefer it to entirely matte polishes. I used two coats. The drying time was a little longer than most mattes, but it still dried quickly. It lasted around three days before it really started to chip, which is excellent considering other matte polishes I've tried haven't lasted a single day (one of Avon's matte polishes lasted an hour on me).

I really love the finish of Scorn, it's really interesting and unusual. I'm definitely going to get a lot of wear out of it, since I use a lot of black polish.

Scorn is available on the Illamasqua website for £13.50, but is currently on sale for £10.

Disclosure: I bought this polish myself.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Models Own Beetlejuice Purple Blue

I've been intrigued by the Beetlejuice collection by Models Own since it came out quite some time ago. I very, very nearly made an online order at the time, but in the end I decided that the main factor in me wanting them was because of the Beetlejuice association as opposed to me actually wanting any of the colours, so I decided to be good and didn't bother. However, I saw this in store and the bottle colour was just so pretty and shimmery, and I didn't previously own any multichrome polishes before this, so I thought it would be a nice addition to my collection.

I've ended up with a few Models Own polishes, Magenta Pearl being my favourite. I've also been using their 3 in 1 top coat as a base coat. Purple Blue is similar to the other Models Own polishes I have in that it dries very fast. However this polish is very sheer, it needs at least three coats. I used four in the swatch pictures as the first two were a little on the thin side.

In normal indoor lighting.
Tilted into sunlight.

The final result is definitely an interesting one. It shifts between purple, blue and pink, and it's gorgeous. The first time I applied this I was moving my nails around all over the place so I could catch all the different colours. Amazing, but quite difficult to capture on camera, so my swatches don't really do it justice.

Overall I really love this polish. I think I need more multichrome polishes! It's a really interesting and unique polish. I'm also intrigued by Emerald Black from this collection, it looks beautiful!

Have you tried any of the Beetlejuice polishes? What did you think to them?

Disclosure: I bought this polish myself.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Dark and Deep Brown

It's been a long time since I reviewed any Batiste products hasn't it? I'd been using Blush for quite some time as I absolutely adore the scent, but a few weeks ago my mum informed me that I looked 'like an antique' after using Blush one morning and I decided that it may just be beneficial to start using one of the coloured ones! Batiste Deep and Dark Brown costs £3.99 for 200ml.

I've been an avid dry shampoo user for several years now. They are an absolutely lifesaver at festivals or on days where I haven't been able to wash my hair. I started off using the  TRESemm√© Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo  but made my way to Batiste shortly after. I have also tried the cheaper Superdrug version of this, but it was nowhere near as effective  as Batiste for me, and Batiste is pretty affordable as it is (and it seems to be on offer constantly), so I doubt I'll be changing again anytime soon!

This doesn't smell as lovely as Blush, but it does smell very nice. I can't quite place what it smells like, but I do like it.

When I first started using this product my hair was black, I've had it brown since then and it's now a dark red/black, so when I bought it I wasn't expecting it to suit my hair, but I was hoping that a darker brown colour would be a lot better than the usual white residue. It doesn't show up as much as I had expected it to. However, I was expecting the colour to be a dark brunette colour, but it's a bit more of an ashy grey. It's not super pigmented, but I don't really mind since I was aware that the colour wouldn't be dark enough for me.  When I had brown hair it worked perfectly. I still have to make sure that this is rubbed in, but it's nowhere near as much of an effort as it was with the white residue from Blush.

However, this one doesn't come in the 400ml or the 50ml sizes like Blush does, the smallest being handy or travelling and the largest lasting forever!  I'd like to see Batiste bring this one out in the other sizes. I think I'll have to buy a mini Blush to take away with me.

Overall I love this dry shampoo. It's easier to work with then the usual ones, despite the colour not completely suiting my hair, it's still a lot better.

You can buy this dry shampoo from the Superdrug and Boots amongst other places. You can see the full list of where to buy here.

Do you use dry shampoo? Which one is your favourite?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

MUA Undressed Palette

Undressed is another one of the new palettes released in July from MUA. Before I ordered this I'd only previously used Glamour Nights, so I was excited to try a more neutral palette since I'd heard such good things about Heaven and Earth.

As always with MUA the packaging is sleek and nice. I like that the top is clear so I don't have to open it to see which one it is. As I mentioned in my Going for Gold review, they've added a cute little 'Master-Class' guide on the back, which is a really nice touch. You get the usual 12 shadows.

Top row. My camera was refusing to focus. Doesn't show this shades to be anywhere near as beautiful as they are!
Bottom row.
Undressed has a lovely mix of shades. They're all so pretty, I don't think I can actually pick my favourites this time! All the colours are very wearable and lovely, and there's some darker shades to mix it up a bit! As always with MUA, the shimmer shades are gorgeous. I think the matte shades always look better on as opposed to on my swatches, but they aren't as nice as the shimmer shades. The majority of the shades are nicely pigmented, but will require you to build up the colour.

I've been impressed with the wear time of MUA shadows in the past, and this one is no different. These lasted around 7 hours or so on me before they began to fade, without a primer. Very good for the price!

I've heard so many people talk about how this palette is comparable to Urban Decay's naked palette, but since I don't own a Naked palette I can't really compare them. However I will say that since Urban Decay's palette is a bit of out of my price range I am more than happy to settle for this as dupe!

Overall I can honestly say that this is my favourite palette so far from MUA! The colours are just beautiful, I'm packing this to take away with me to Spain next month, as since it's only £4 I wouldn't be too upset if it got ruined, as it'd be cheap to repurchase.

You can purchase this palette from the MUA website or from Superdrug for £4.

Are you interested in this palette?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Illamasqua Baptiste

I've been meaning to blog about this polish for absolutely ages. Since I first bought it last year, I've used up a full bottle, and I'm now on my second bottle.

I only realised after I'd taken these pictures that the lid was on the wrong way round. :/ Oops!

Baptiste is a royal purple with violet shimmer. I think capturing just how beautiful this polish is is impossible. In sunlight it glows vivid purple, but in my swatches it has a funny pink sheen to it.  I've taken so many photographs of this that you wouldn't believe - it is so hard to capture. It also has that whole lit-from-within look that Phallic has, and I love it. The first time I wore this, I had five different people comment on it, none of which I knew! One of my friends asked me if my nails were fake because 'that colour can't possibly be real.' I don't think I've ever worn this and not had it noticed.

If you read this blog frequently or follow me on Twitter you'll how much of a purple fiend I am, and this polish is absolutely perfect for me. A lot of purple polish gear towards the darker side and look almost black indoors, but this doesn't. In sunlight this polish glows. Amazing.

The application was lovely, it was opaque in two coats, dried fairly quickly and wasn't streaky. The wear time was good too, it lasts around a week on before chipping.

It's definitely more on the expensive side at £13.50, but it's absolutely worth for both the quality of the polish and the incredible colour.

I'm a big fan of purple polishes, and this one is definitely my favourite in my entire collection. You can buy this polish from Debenhams or the Illamasqua website.

Do you own any Illamasqua polishes? What's your favourite polish?

Dislclaimer: I bought this product myself.

Monday, 2 July 2012

My Week: Olympic Torch Relay & Derbyshire

Things have been a little more exciting this week, so I thought I'd do another one of these little updates.

On Friday I went to see the olympic torch relay in Derby. It had been in Nottingham the day before and I'd wanted to go, but it thundered and rained the whole day so I decided to miss it. It was in Derby the next day, so I took the train to go and see Becca, and we went to see the torch.

It was a really nice atmosphere, and I'm pleased that I can say that I went. Some of the entertainment wasn't the best, but at least it didn't rain! We also watched the carnival procession as it headed into Derby. I love carnivals, they're really interesting and some of the colours are amazing.

On Sunday we checked the weather forecast and it was looking okay, so we headed out on a family outing around Derbyshire, which has lovely scenery and lots of nice little places to visit.

This was taken from my car window - love driving around places like this!

And this is why you shouldn't listen to the weather forecast. For once we were all ready somewhat early (in our case before midday) and it started raining just as we were approaching Bakewell. We don't go on many family trips (I can count three this year) and so far it has rained on every single one. It's a bit depressing that I'm still in my winter coat in July. We sat and ate our picnic in the car outside Speedwell Cavern, and then drove to Castleton. Of course, with it being a Sunday not much was open, but it was nice to have a wander around in the drizzle. I also spotted some little ducklings playing in a puddle, they were so cute!

The littering really ruins this shot doesn't it? Disgusting. 

This week is going to much more interesting. I have a huge shopping list for town on Wednesday, and it's my little sister's prom at the end of the week, which is a little strange as it doesn't seem that long ago since my prom! It's forecast to rain again (I just love summer in the UK) so we're crossing our fingers that it's a little brighter.

What are you up to this week? Did you do anything interesting last weekend?
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