Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Perfumes that pack a punch

Armani Diamonds, Roberto Cavalli perfume reviews

Whilst I love buying perfumes (who can resist those Marc Jacobs adverts) it can still be disappointing when you get home and realise that the scent barely lingers longer than a few hours, or you have to spray half the bottle to smell anything. Therefore, I thought I would do a post on my favourite strong (but not overpowering) perfumes that pack a punch. Although this was originally going to be more of an evening fragrances post the Roberto Cavalli is actually a lovely daytime fragrance so that wouldn't have made any sense.

PS Say hello to Poppa the Penguin! My Sister insisted on buying him from the new John Lewis Christmas decorations range (he's much cuter in reality).

Armani Diamonds, Roberto Cavalli perfume reviews

The Armani Diamonds is my choice of perfume when I'm going out for the evening or on those days when I want to feel my best. The main notes are lychee and raspberry, with base notes of vanilla, cedar wood and patchouli. When I first apply this I get a sweet musky smell which dies down to a more floral musky fragrance. You would never know from looking at the bottle that I've had it for ages, ever since they were first released infact. The reason being is that you literally only need one spray for your wrists and neck, and it lasts all day (or night in this case)! The best thing about this is that it is now available from boots for only £29.99 for 50ml, and that's normally have much 30ml costs.

The Roberto Cavalli has one of the fanciest bottles I've seen, it's made out of a thick glass that gives off a lovely golden reflective glow. The main notes are orange blossom with a base of vanilla, the vanilla was more prevalent to me. It can start off a bit sweet but that quickly subdues down into a wearable sophisticated scent. I did manage to get the 30ml for around £20-£30 after Christmas last year, however the 50ml is currently for £48, and the 30ml for £35. I like to wear this as a daytime fragrance as it lasts the whole day, it's like when someone walks past you and you get a subtle waft of their perfume and it leaves you wondering for the rest of the day what perfume it was. I recently repurchased this for £20!

The Body Shop vanilla mist

Lastly, I had to make a quick mention to the Body Shop Vanilla Body Mist. I love using this as a base to other perfumes as the vanilla seems to compliment everything so well. It's also lovely on it's own, I could literally apply it everywhere, on my clothes, bedding, the list goes on! I also brought a roll on from the Body Shop which was similar to this, and that's just as good for on the go.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What perfumes would you recommend?

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Shiseido Lipsticks, Eyeshadow and Skincare Review

Shiseido: She-sigh-doe (if you're wondering how to pronounce it like I am) is a luxury Japanese makeup and hair care brand. Their counters are a regular sight at my local department stores, however I had never gotten round to trying their products before. That all changed when I won this lovely bundle in one of Dave Lackie's giveaways. The packaging looked so crisp and well put together I didn't want to open it (yet at the same time I'm like a little kid when I get post!).

Shiseido Skincare 

First of all I unwrapped the red tissue paper to find this cute metallic gold toiletries bag, it has the Shiseido logo embossed at the top and it's the perfect size for travelling, or to cram all the lipsticks I hoard! Within the toiletries bag there were four generous samples of the : IBUKI Purifying cleanser, IBUKI Gentle Cleanser, IBUKI Refining Moisturizer and IKUBI Softening Concentrate (as well as some facial cotton).

At first the IKUBI Purifying Cleanser seems similar to a hot cloth cleanser as it's quite a thick cream, however once you add a little bit of water into it it lathers up tremendously. I wasn't expecting this at all, especially seeing as I generally avoid foamy cleansers as they can be quite drying. Once I massaged it into my skin I also noticed it had a few micro-granules (for exfoliation), however I was then really careful not to get this anywhere near my eyes as I'm sure that would have stung! Overall, I think this is more of a morning cleanser rather than an all in one makeup remover, and I'm not convinced this is the best for dry skin.

The IBUKI Gentle Cleanser is more creamier than the purifying cleanser, however it's similar in terms of the formula as they're both quite foamy. Since this one didn't have the granules in it I ventured to remove my mascara with it. It did remove it easily (although I was only wearing one layer), but I still think that hot cloth cleansers for me are more effective and less harsh on my skin.

Now onto the moisturisers! The IKUBI Refining Moisturiser is a lightweight cream that absorbs quickly into the skin, although I'm not sure it's thick enough for dry skin, I still really like the hydrated feel it gives to my skin. This moisturiser will be a great one for those with combination skin who prefer something lightweight.

The IBUKI Softening Concentrate is the most bemusing product out of the four! Not only does it look like water but it applies like water too. It's a colourless gel that instantly absorbs into the skin, making it not only look hydrated and replenished, but it truly feels softer too! This one will be brilliant for those with dehydrated skin who want something to pair with their moisturiser, it's definitely my favourite out of the bunch.

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio GR716 Vinyl
Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio GR716 Vinyl

The satin eye color trio is really one of those palettes that looks and feels all high end! The shiny black compact packaging also features a decent mirror and a little flat eyeshadow brush, as well as the normal sponge applicators. The trio of shades includes: a flourescent golden yellow, a shimmery meadow green and a sparkly black. All three shades are very pigmented, however the black doesn't translate as pitch black as it appears, this is probably due to the fact that these are all shimmery eyeshadows. However, they are buttery smooth and apply very well, there will be little fall out with these.

Although the shades do appear very bold and bright, the golden yellow and black are infact quite versatile, the gold will look beautiful as a lid colour!
Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio GR716 Vinyl

Shiseido Lipsticks
Limited Edition Perfect Rouge Lipsticks Mini Collection

I couldn't exclaim how lovely the packaging is for these perfect rouge lipstick miniatures! I can't find anything similar yet but if they do come out with a Christmas collection this would be the perfect present for lipstick fanatics! Plus who doesn't like a mini lipstick?!

The lipsticks also come in a similar shiny black casing, as did the eyeshadow, with the Shiseido logo down the side. Whilst it does appear very simple it has an unusual twist as the lipstick casing is more of a curved hexagonal, than the usual circle cylinder. I really liked this little detail.
Shiseido Lipsticks

The three shades I received are:

PK 307 Tourmaline - A cool toned pale pink that reminds me very much of bubblegum.

RS 306 Titian - A light-medium pink with undertones that don't venture too cool or warm. However, when swatched and applied it looked very similar to Tourmaline.

RD 142 Sublime - A warm pink with strong coral undertones.
Shiseido Lipsticks

I'm not normally someone that can pull off nude lipsticks, and therefore I did find Tourmaline and Titian to be too pale for me. I think they would be more suited to someone with cool undertones. However, Sublime was the game changer! Albeit it might not look like a nude in the swatches yet it just managed to look like the most perfect neutral shade on me! It brightened up my face, complimented my skintone (neutral medium, slightly bordering on warm), and just seemed to look so natural, even though it appears quite bold.

The formula of these lipsticks also makes them a great match for those suffering from dry lips, like myself. Whilst they can appear shimmery, they are infact very creamy and moisturising, yet they also feel quite lightweight. The wear time for me was decent at a few hours, however due to them being so creamy they did wear off when I ate, although I would rather reapply lipstick and have the benefits of a moisturising lipstick.
Overall, out of these products I got to try I'm really enjoying the luxurious eyeshadow palette and the perfect rouge lipstick in RD 142 Sublime!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you ever tried any Shiseido products?

Monday, 19 October 2015

Revlon Professional Haircare

When I think about Revlon, makeup is the first thing that comes to mind, I was infact totally oblivious to the fact that they have an entire professional haircare range. Well, until I was kindly gifted some to try out. Whilst they do have shampoo and conditioners in the range, the three products I'm trying out are styling products. They include a mousse, a straightening balm and a leave in hair treatment.

The thing that I found quite confusing at first was that they all seemed to come under different names, such as Orofluido, Uniq One, in most of the products you won't even see the Revlon logo unless you look closely at the bottom. However, I then found out that Revlon Professional haircare is mostly sold in salons, and thus the professional ranges each have their own identity you could say (silly me!).

Orofluido Volume Mousse*

The Orofluido volume mousse promises to give you remarkable shine, volume and beauty, with a medium hold mousse. Interestingly enough, it comes with a powderful combination of argon, cyperus and linseed oils. The orofluido essence is also what gives it that amber and vanilla fragrance, although I found the scent was far more prevalent when I squirted the mousse out than afterwards, my hair still smelt so good! It also offers thermal protection so that's always a good thing.

The mousse comes in a lovely black tube, with a really handy dispenser, definitely salon worthy! As with most mousses', it needs a good shake before you squirt some out, although be careful as there were lot's of little pillows of clouds flying about, let it snow! The actual mousse itself was amongst some of the best I've tried. The formula is easily absorbed into my hair, there was no stickiness and my waves were also a lot more defined. It did reduce my frizz a bit, although I think my troublesome hair needs more in the way of a treatment (which I will be coming to shortly) to get rid of of the majority of the frizz.

Style Masters Smooth Iron Guard*

The Style Masters straightening balm claims to facilitate smoothness, whilst protecting hair from the heat of irons/dryers. On paper straightening balms sound like the solution to all my problems as I often straighten my hair with heat protectant, yet it gets damaged easily and rarely holds it's straightness. I've given straightening balms a go previously with the Body Shop Macadamia straightening balm (which is still sitting in my drawer), however I found that it weighted my hair down and it still got a few kinks in it, and so I haven't really used them since.

The Style Masters smooth iron guard comes out as a cream which I spread through my damp hair with my fingers. It's quite tricky getting the right amount when you have thick hair like mine as too little won't do the job but too much will make it all sticky. Once my hair was dried I straightened it and I did get poker straight hair! However, it felt a bit too flat to me, but by the time I woke up in the morning it was like it had absorbed it in and it looked much better. Unfortunately it didn't survive the morning commute intact, the humidity and the light rain proved a bit much and my hair did go a bit puffy and wavy again. Overall, it did help me get the straight hair I wanted but I think I'll use it when the weather is more predictable.

Uniq One All In One Hair treatment*

The Uniq One Leave in Conditioner boasts 10 real benefits to your hair, some of which include: frizz control, silkiness and smoothness, detangling and split end prevention. It makes some bold claims, but how does it fare? The treatment is a cream that comes in spray form which makes it easy to dispense through your hair, however I prefer to spray it into my hands and then rub it through my hair, concentrating on my ends, as I find it dispenses it more evenly. At first I was apprehensive about applying too much, but after several weeks of using this, I've realised that it absorbs into your hair very easily so I section my hair into two and apply five pumpfuls on either side.

I couldn't write this post and not tell you how divine it smells, the coconut scent makes me feel like I'm in my own spa. Plus with everyone raving about Coconut oil lately this is definitely worth a try! As for the leave it treatment itself my ends are looking much healthier, which I'm really happy about as they went awfully dry because for some reason I thought it was a good idea to use a drying shampoo to stop my hair looking so limp! However, this isn't an overnight change, it is quite gradual and so I will continue seeing how this fares.

The Uniq One Leave In Conditioner has also changed my opinions on leave in conditioners. After using the Aussie leave in conditioner, which amazingly smells like bubblegum but didn't do anything for my hair (apart from make it sticky), I merely saw them as novelty products. This leave in conditioner however does make my hair softer, detangles it and helps it look healthier.

I'm really glad I was able to try these salon quality items and the Orofluido Mousse and Uniq One Hair treatment are my favourites out of the bunch!

I hope you enjoyed this post?
Have you tried leave in treatments, what haircare products do you recommend?

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Ultimate Dark Lip

I have finally got round to doing a review on the KIKO combination I picked up last year during my trip to Winter Wonderland, if you'd like to check out that post click here. I had an amazing time at KIKO running around with my arms covered in swatches, and as if they didn't have enough offers on the build up to Christmas, I also got all of these included in the black friday discount! However, 2015 has been the year I've been experimenting more with lip liners so it's an apt time to include this duo.

The first section I went to was lipsticks, for me they signify what beauty means; a simple injection of glamour. On a daily basis I like to have a simple look with few products, and therefore I find that lipstick tends to make the most difference to me. At this point I was just getting into darker lipsticks (I had also recently purchased Makeup Revolution's Rebel Without Cause), when I spotted this shade in the Smart Lipstick range. 914 Amaranth isn't your typical vampy shade, as although it looks quite purple in the tube, it actually swatched as a deep raspberry pink. However, I loved the glowy, satin finish it had without looking shimmery so I picked it up.

The formula is very moisturising, it glided on smoothly and softened over any fine lines. On it's own it's more of a deep pink, however over a deeper liner it tended to slightly brighten the shade. The longevity of the Smart Lipstick in 914 Amaranth was quite good too, around 5 hours for me, however due to it having a more glossy finish it's likely it will wear away quicker than a matte formula.

I also then spotted the lipliners and being unable to find a dark liner in the drugstores near me I went swatch crazy. The Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in 710 Rouge Noir was the shade I had been looking for! It's the perfect warm plum that doesn't look too harsh, plus it was literally as cheap as chips at £1.90 on sale.

Unfortunately I am unable to get away with using lip liners on their own as my lips are constantly dry, how I wish I could though as I love trying out the ombre lip look, Therefore, I did find the liner felt tight when I was wearing it on it's own, although this probably won't be the case for those of you who don't have dry lips. On the other hand, it actually went on much better than other liners I've tried, it glided like a dream and nor did the pigment stick to one area. As you can see from the lip swatch below, it actually came out quite decently (if I do say so myself), although I will have to pair the Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in 710 Rouge Noir with a lipstick/lip balm on top.

Both the Kiko Smart Lipstick and Lip Pencil are also intensely pigmented so quality isn't an issue you'll have to worry about. In terms of packaging the liner comes as a standard sharpening pencil (any sharpener will too), and the lipstick comes in a sleek black matte tube with the logo printed down the side. Quite minimalistic but elegant, nothing too fancy.

The lipstick is available for £3.95 here, and the liner for £2.50 (similar here in share Amaranth). You can also sign up to hear about their latest offers.

I've also done some lip swatches for you again, I hope they're useful? Overall, I am very much in love with this combination hence the title 'The Ultimate Dark Lip' as I really believe this is THE duo for me, well this year atleast!

I hope you enjoyed this post?
What are your Winter must haves (can be anything)?

PS I've also set up an instagram here, it's velvetblushx if you'd like to take a look :)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Eucerin Dry Skin Replenishing Face Cream Review

When I first started having issues with my skin going dry I think I tried every cream with 'dry' in the name, well it felt like it! Although I initially wanted to try Oilatum after seeing Pixiwoo rave about it, I was persuaded by a sales consultant to try the Eucerin Dry Skin Relief Face Cream as it includes 5% Urea levels, urea is what helps our skin retain moisture naturally so I thought I would give it a try!

The cream is suitable for those with dry to very dry skin. The tube contains 50ml and it's available for £11 from Boots. The tube is quite small and compact, it has a cap that unscrews and you squeeze out the cream.

The cream feels quite light when you squeeze it out and it doesn't feel gloopy at all. However, once applied on the face it feels considerably thicker, almost balm like. I feel like I have to really work it into the skin and it leaves my skin feeling quite sticky and tacky. Whilst Eucerin claims it's readily absorbed I found this not to be the case at all. In fact there's no way you can do your makeup within 10-15 minutes of applying this, I found that my concealer went quite blotchy if I applied it over the cream before it had dried. This is quite a negative if you're always in a rush in the morning like me (it's a rule of mine to always get up 20 minutes after the alarm!).

When it has finally absorbed my skin does feel a little softer, however when my skin was really playing up it didn't really smooth over the dry patches fully, nor did it completely eradicate the itchiness (which was the worst of it).

In terms of lasting hydration I would go about half a day before my face started feeling a little tight again. Although I didn't notice any long term effects from using it for months (the tube is now nearly empty) which is a shame as I thought the Urea content might help my skin retain moisture in the long term.

Overall, whilst the cream might provide some short term relief I don't think my skin was much different than when I was using creams not focused on dry skin. I also don't think it was worth the £11 price tag as I have fared better with much more affordable creams from Superdrug's own ranges. However, I am still continuing my quest for the perfect dry skin cream!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What are your favourite creams?

Monday, 5 October 2015

L'Oreal Shine Caresse Lip Stain In Juliet Review

My laptop's been playing up for the past week now (thanks Windows Updates) so it's great to finally get a post done! The summer before last I was obsessed with the L'Oreal Shine Caresse lip stain, and whilst I don't use it as much now, I really wanted to do a post on it!

First of all, the packaging is stunning! It's easily my all time favourite packaging for lip products, it's so sleek and fancy! It's a slightly golden reflective (which you can tell!) tube that has a small window so you can see the exact shade you're getting. It also has a raised top with the colour name and code at the top that also matches the shade of the lip product. The tube is also surprisingly light.

The shade I brought was 300 Juliet which is a very pinky red. There were also some lighter shades in the range but I wanted to go for a statement lip, plus I think the formula is better suited to deeper shades than nudes.

The packaging comes with a doe foot applicator which is perfect seeing as you have to be very exact with the application. The small heart shaped dent in the middle of the applicator also collects most of the product so you could rub some of it off if you didn't want too much.

Now onto the formula! It's probably one of the most unique I've ever tried, basically it's a watery gel like formula that dries to give a shiny finish. So when I first apply it is is quite watery (but very pigmented) so you have to work fast as it dries very quickly. However, it can come up quite uneven as some parts may look more opaque than others. The best solution to this I've found is applying it in thin layers and not applying too much on the applicator.

It then gives a glossy look without being very sticky (although it can be a bit sticky before it's dried). However, I didn't find it hydrating at all on dry lips so after a few hours it can start to feel a bit tight on, so pairing it with a lip balm underneath may be the better option. It did wear well for a considerable time, atleast 4 hours, but when it did start to wear off it was a bit uneven.

The shade however is very flattering, and very wearable for people who might not want to pull off a true red. They were also said to be a dupe for the YSL Glossy Stains, although I'm not too sure about that. Sadly it has been discontinued but you can get it from Fragrance Direct here for £2.60.

Overall, whilst the formula can be a bit hard to get right I love the finished look when it works out, and the shade is also one of my favourites.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you tried any lip stains/lacquers?