Thursday, 27 November 2014

Nars Audascious Lipsticks - Anna, Dominique, Vanessa, Silvia, Raquel

Nars Audacous Lipstick was a major launch for Nars. They had quite a few this year - their dual- intensity shadows are amazing as well (review soon) I think, while all other luxury houses were concentrating on mattes for fall, Nars reinvented the creamy ultra pigmented lipstick- and they did it panache! I purchased 3 Barney exclusives (thank you frond!)- Dominique, Silvia and Vanessa and then after loving them so much - Anna and Raquel.
They do indeed, reach full opacity in one swipe. These pigments are powerful and delivery a creamy punch of colour. They have the texture of satin which leans towards a matte look without the usual harshness that comes with that. This for me is a very modern look. The packaging has lost the rubbery Nars feel and is  cool and sleek. As with most luxury lipsticks these days- it has a magnetised closure- which is lovely except when trying to take a picture and you have a uncooperative Silvia that just kept of hopping out of line! They are not featherlight on the lips , but feel comfortable and wear for a long time. When they start to fade, they do it with grace and dwindle to a lovely stain.




Dominique, Vanessa, Silvia

Raquel, Anna

Silvia, Dominique, Vanessa, Anna, Raquel

  • Silvia - described as Radiant Orchid - all I can say is love- a pop of a bright pinky purple!
  • Dominque - described as Pink Lilac - the most unique of the whole 40 lineup- this channels my inner 90's girl. Its a dusky lilac that is so intriguing. It seems to make my skin tone more olive in a way and gives a very mysterious look. My top pick.
  • Vanessa - described as a mauve nude - apt description. This a good everyday nude without draining my colour or taking away from a bold eye
  • Anna - described as a smokey rose - a wonderful rose shade that is pretty neutral on my skin tone.Yes I'm going to say it- my lips but a bettterrrr! and sexier
  • Raquel - described as a pink nude - this has photographed darker than it actually is. Here it look just lighter than Vanessa - it is quite a bit lighter and gives my lips a flattering ultra nude lip that is lighter than my naturally pigmented lips. If you are looking for a slightly 'blanked out' lips whithout looking weird- this is the one!
There have been so many great lipstick releases this year, but this one blew me away. I can tell this is going to be the start of a beautiful relationship as I yearn after many more shades! These are kinda what I wish my Charlotte Tilbury lipstick (sorry Darling!) would be in terms of texture and look. If I remember correctly I said I liked them- something was missing- well, Nars found it! With such a big shade offering there is definitely something for everybody. Have you bought any of these Audascious lipsticks yet- any recommendations?


Monday, 24 November 2014

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Ecru - review and swatch

I love Laura Mercier. While I gravitate towards brands that are bit more bold in their point of you, no-one can dispute the understated sophistication of the LM brand or the cult status of their face products. I do own their Tinted moisturiser, of which is considered the measure of which all tinted moisturisers are help up to. I thought it was really good, I owned it and used it ,but it was never quite the right colour match. Fast forward a few years and I jumped once again onto the LM bandwagon and bought the new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide. This time I had the luxury of being colour matched at a Sephora with their foundation matching gadget. An excellent handheld machine that was spot on in it's selection of shade - Ecru. I did not purchase it at the time but was given a generous sample. A dear friend (McG!) facilitated this purchase for me as the sample sold me on the product!



The packaging is utilitarian - lightweight plastic. No bells and whistles - but its what inside that counts. It is an oil free formula that needs to be shaken before application to mix up the bi-phase formula. It is quite liquid when I place it on the back of my hand. I use fingers for best application. I find that it is extremely similar to Armani Maestro  Fusion foundation - yet this formula is more forgiving as and it provides far more cover than the Maestro, yet it is still weightless in texture and looks invisible on my skin. Skin looks like perfected skin- it evens out my skin tone really well. I do have oily skin - it works pretty well to keep it fresh not a total oil slick. Ecru is described as 'Light with cool undertones'. Strangely, when I first purchased this when it was first released I could have sworn that it described as 'Light with neutral undertones' - which actually describes my skin more accurately (this reads more rosy to me than cool?) - nevertheless.....

Ecru
I have been loving this foundation and it is a fabulous addition to my foundation wardrobe. If you struggled with Armani's maestro, but want this 'type' of foundation, this LM Fluide might be what you are looking for.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Lancer Skincare :The Method Blemish control

The skincare brand Lancer seemed to popped on my radar recently. I think it might have coincided with their repackaging. This is another " Dr" brand and so the blah blah goes. I hunted this down in their little home in Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. A very helpful SA CeCi helped me and sampled me their 3 step method in their blemish prone range . Their three step method comes in three variations: for sensitive, normal, and blemish prone skins . After my consultation I opted for the blemish prone. Anyway, I took my generous samples back to my hotel room and used them that night. Nothing works in one use, right!?
I had one day left in New York. I nipped right back to Bergdorf's the next day-let me tell you why!




  • The method starts (once daily) with the polish. This is new age code for exfoliator. So yes, you exfoliate your skin to cause mini 'damage' to cause your skin to continually repair itself. As you age this renewal process slows down, and this polish keeps your skin on 'it's toes' and in a state on renewal as cell turnover is increased. The polish for blemish prone skin has a marginally larger particle  (oilier skin tends to be thicker) which helps sloughs off dead skin cells.  My pores feel cleaner and look smaller. There are other ingredients that help with blemish prone skin conditions. There is peppermint oil to help remove toxins. I love the fresh feeling my skin is left with. Lilac Stem cell compound which has anti- acne and oil absorbing qualities. Salicylic Acid also helps with keeping the pores clear from debris and bacteria. I love this first step - my skin has never looked this smooth and clear.
  • Now we cleanse in the traditional sense with the Cleanse. This helps remove the dead skin cells that have been loosened by the Polish and removes any leftover oil. This cleanser also has the peppermint oil. It is so refreshing. Lots of other ingredients sooth, energise, moisturise and help finish of the cleansing process.
  • Nourish is the final step. The blemish 'Nourish' cream is so good for us adults that have oily skin but still want the benefits of an anti-aging cream. It protects from oxidative elements, has peptides, and has anti-blemish and oil -control properties. I found this cream to be lightweight and hydrating.


My skin has been looking amazing since using this method. Radiant and energised are the first two words to pop into my mind when thinking how my skin looks, since using Lancer. The Lancer method is meant to give you the 'Lancer glow' - I have to agree with this! This is range has seriously impressed me and makes me want to look further at the serums that Lancer offers. I have to admit I indulged and bought the Lancer Microcurrent Powerboost device (review to come) and have loved it too. Dr Lancer's book Younger was an informative read as well.
Ceci at Bergdorf Goodman was excellent when answering all my questions. Please tell her Jodi says 'Hi' if you choose to call and get her advise 212.872.8630


Monday, 6 October 2014

Make Up For Ever *NEW* artists shadows in Orchid, Poppy, Celestial Blue, Crystalline Gray Beige, Crystalline Beige, Purple, Fig, Pink Gray, Pink Ash

I am thrilled to bring to you today my first foray into the New Make Up For Ever Artists shadows. These would not have made it in to my hands without the amazing help of my twinsie, dear frond Gummy from Gummyvision. From swatching real time and sending me pictures so I could choose from what stock was available at the Sephora. From across continents I was able to choose 9 gorgeous shades. That's a friend indeed!
So Make Up Forever has reformulated their eyeshadows - with a whopping 210 colour line up, they have blown this launch out of the park. I missed out of their 30yr Anniversary palette (hesitation is never good), but happy in the knowledge that none of them in the palette are actually limited, so I could in theory collect all myself. At the time of my buying my these, there was a great offer from Sephora, where if you bought 3 refills and one 3 pan palette you get a saving of $22. Essentially one of my 3 pan palettes cost next to nothing.
The new shadows come in Matte (M), Iridescent (I), Satin (S), Metallic (ME) and Diamond (D) finishes. Some shades are designated for cheeks. Here is what I got!

  • Orchid ME912
  • Poppy ME744
  • Celestial Blue D706
  • Celestial Beige D504
  • Purple S924
  • Fig D826
  • Pink Gray M548
  • Pink Ash S836
  • Crystalline Gray Beige DD552


These Artists shadows are vivid and have such a strong pigmentation. They are beyond creamy and blend like a dream. Even with such extreme colouring, they still can blended out to a soft wash - I have even used Poppy in this way. I will also attempt Poppy as a wash of colour on my cheeks. Both Celestial Beige and Crystalline Gray Beige are  perfect to highlight the middle of the lid and bring such a fresh open look to the eye. Celestial Blue can be used as a soft wash, but I prefer it packed on with a winged liner for a bold look. I have bought 4 diamond shades which are not just glitter, but have more pigmentation that gives a solid colour with sparkle. The Metallic shades of Poppy and Orchid are not high shine, but have a soft sheen to them. Orchid has a slight turquoise duochrome effect to it - visible at some angles (subtle) that makes it quite unusual. My lone matte Pink Gray, is less powdery than my Viseart one's. If you love mattes MUFE should tempt you. The Satin shades Purple and Pink Ash are just off a matte and one could be forgiven for confusing them as such. Dense colour with only a hint a velvet texture. I had a few Iridescent shades on my initial list, but these were out of stock. I chose quite a few brights, with the thought that when these eventually launch on my fair shores, we would probably get an edited selection and I have been told already by the MUFE stockists - probably no brights.
I wore one look a full day,with a quick workout at gym for good measure. Only the barest hint of wear - terribly impressive.

Fig, Pink Gray, Pink Ash
Orchid, Poppy, Celestial Blue
Celestial Gray Beige, Celestial Beige, Purple

Celestial Gray Beige, Celestial Beige, Purple

Orchid, Poppy, Celestial Blue

Fig, Pink Gray, Pink Ash

Celestial Gray Beige, Celestial Beige, Purple, Orchid, Poppy, Celestial Blue
Fig, Pink Gray, Pink Ash
Round up: All my thoughts are good. I wish I could have purchased the larger palettes, but those are only available through MUFE boutiques. These new shadows are in my opinion a new step in the evolution of shadows. They are that good. I just want to know what magical device they are using to conjure up these delightful eye shadows. So according to Darwin these shadows will 'outwit, outlast and outplay' (Survivor any one?) their competition. 
210 is a good target I think!

Please note Poppy and Purple are meant as a blush shades so I do no advocate use on your eyes!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Viseart Palette Basic 01- Matte

This palette is what legends are made of....... I finally took the plunge about three months ago and bought the Viseart Matte palette . After hearing murmurings about the must have matte palette that all the makeup artists in hollywood use, I knew I had to have it. Reviews and pictures of this palette were harder to find than a real life unicorn, but after my 'research' that this is the most used product on TV shows , where I think the makeup is beautiful etc etc. I pulled the trigger and never looked back. This palette can create dramatic contouring, can be used for brows and wet as liners - it is a true makeup artist work horse . For lil' 'ol me, it is the perfect neutral matte palette.



The packaging is more like a pro palette and less like a luxe offering I am used to, but I guess it make me feel more like a pro. From the pictures you can see the 12 shadows are housed in a sturdy plastic casing with a clear top. Nothing fancy, but practical for the true makeup artist. All the shades are true mattes, with no satins or shimmers at all. They tend to kick up powder when placing your brush in to pick up product, yet have no fall out when placed on the eye. So while they do not have an overtly creamy consistency, they are not dry at all. From the swatches you can see there is a large selection of peach tones, warm coppers, taupes, and finally a cool dark grey and sooty black. They all blend well for matte shades.





Since I struggled to find swatches of this palette, I do hope this has been helpful. I would love to extend my Viseart collection.  They have have a beautiful pearl and  a matte darks palette but am still looking for good swatches to make my picks!!

This is not a necessity, but for a beauty lover it just might be.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

By Terry Riviera Collection Summer 2014 - Tea to Tan and Cheek to Cheek

By Terry gets my vote for constantly thinking out of the box. I picked up the Cheek to Cheek in Cherry Cruise when it first came out and just added the Tea to Tan in Bronze Bay. These are must haves for all beauty lovers. I bought mine both from SpaceNK.



What I love about the Tea to Tan is that this is the most natural bronzer effect you will ever get. The awkward drop applicator aside, I simply put a drop or two in my palm and dab a synthetic, densely packed brush into it and sweep along my cheeks, forehead, down the centre of my nose. Buff it in and I'm looking healthy and sun kissed. No Jersey Shore here. As the name says, just the Riviera baby! You can go back in with more product and build, but it is a subtle and soft effect that just oozes chic. This can also be added to any foundation to add warmth. Also do not forget to shake to disperse the pearlescent goodness that collects at the base, yet does not translate into a glitter ball at all on the face.

The Cheek to Cheek is a strawberry stain that gives a youthful flush to my cheeks. Again you cannot overdo this product. You can layer over the Tea to Tan. The stain effect is so nice for hot days as it looks light and fresh on my skin. Both products have a translucent quality and allows for your natural skin tone to shine through. They both have a distinct By Terry rose scent. I think it's pretty. By Terry also likes to add skincare benefits and these two are no different. Packed with ingredients that have antioxidants and also help to detoxify and revitalise are an added plus for me! High end brand can no longer do makeup without adding skincare benefits- its a trend thats here to stay.

Dropped straight from the pipette

Tea to Tan, Cheek to Cheek freshly swatched

Tea to Tan, Cheek to Cheek buffed and dried down
These do not have any real staining qualities and come off with ease at the end of the day. I have been using mine in our winter months, so if you are in the throes of summer these would be even more perfect for you. These are limited edition (drat!) as far as I know, so do not wait to long before buying them.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks- Las Salinas, Es Vedra and Moon Beach

Let me just put it out there I do not like the cold! An african winter pales in comparison to other locations, but boy I just want to hibernate! (that is my humble apology for being lax on the post front).
I had a few products on my radar and pounced as soon as they were released - Charlotte Tilbury's much anticipated Beach Sticks. I stopped myself at three but as soon as I can I will round up my collection with the remaining 2 - these are fantastic! I purchased Las Salinas (warm pink), Moon Beach (peach) and Es Vedra (poppy orange).

L-R Las Salinas, Moon Beach, Es Vedra


The cheek stick are housed in lightweight rose gold tubes - it feels almost weightless. Cute bubbles of colour greet me when I uncap them. Texture-wise they are feather-light and with a few quick finger movements sit softly on my cheeks - giving them a fresh pop of colour. In my experience these have a less silicone feel than the original Nars multiples and they blend easier and sit more realistically on my skin. Blended in these give a great stain effect.
There is a whole press 'spiel' with regard to their naming - each is named after a beach in Ibiza and each shade is meant to mimic the effect after a week in the sun at these exotic locations - romantic notions turned into reality!

Es Vedra, Moon Beach, Las Salinas straight from bullet
These colours are spot on and all work on my skintone. Es Vedra was my answer to Nars Multiple in Siam that I had been lusting after. This gives me a healthy pop and sexy 'sunburnt' glow - huh! Try it and it will make sense. There is no pink undertone here so it does not look like a bad case of hives either. Las Salinas is a pretty coral pink that gives me soft pop of yes....pink! Moon Beach was described as similar to Nars Orgasm. Not to me - it compliments my complexion much better. This is perfect for a look with a stronger eye, naked glowing cheek. Some have used this as a highlighter shade - for me it is definitly a cheek colour. For deep skintones it would work as such. This shade can be mixed with the others to create a new shade - double duty! All shades have some degree of shimmer (all rose gold) in the swatches, but on the cheek it really translates as a glow. There are also meant to be some long term benefits good for the skin. They are hydrating and last well on my oily skin. You can also use them on your lips- not my first choice , but if you had to ....yes.
Es Vedra, Moon Beach, Las Salinas blended out
So to wrap it up I love these new lovelies from Charlotte Tilbury.