November 22, 2015

Tom Ford's Viper Nail Lacquer for Autumn

I don't think I've ever looked at a Tom Ford nail polish. Each time I stop by a Tom Ford counter, I seem to only look at their lipsticks without considering anything else. Simply because they're price tags have always been outside my comfort zone. I've been close to parting with my money several times but reason has always stopped me. I've been lucky enough to receive a Tom Ford lipstick as a Christmas gift last year. This year, I was lucky again when my mother decided to gift me a nail polish in my favourite colour.

Let's start with the packaging, I never thought I'd ever see the day a nail polish bottle would make my Illamasqua bottles look so bland in comparison. The gold plating on the cap gives the polish a sophisticated finish.

It was disappointing to find that one coat leaves your nails with a sheer and uneven coverage. Two improves the situation, but ultimately you'll find yourself applying 3 layers of polish for both decent coverage and an even application.

Viper is a black violet shade. Depending on the lighting, Viper will either lean black or violet. As nice as black nail polish is, it can be quite harsh to wear and I find the purple offsets the harshness.

The plus side of 3 coats of polish is, I found I had 0 chipping problems. Viper remained perfect on my nails for almost a week without the use of a top coat.

While I wouldn't spend £27 on a Tom Ford nail polish for myself, it does make for a beautiful gift and could see myself gifting one to somebody else.
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November 20, 2015

Lush The Experimenter Bath Bomb

The experimenter is one of several new Lush Oxford Street exclusive items. After much umm-ing and ah-in at the bath bomb selection in store, I settled on a few. Including, Ylang Song, the Experimenter, Intergalactic and Frozen. Out of all four, the Experimenter seems to be the most talked and raved about.

The bath bomb is a combination of purple, pink, white, yellow and blue, creating a rainbow of colour the moment it touches water. According to the lovely Lush ladies in store, each time you use the Experimenter, you get a different pattern each time.

The experimenter contains popping candy causing it to make a popping noise while it fizzes. It also has vetivert oil, vanilla absolute and tonka absolute. Leaving the tub with a subtle musty scent.

Once the fizz dissolves completely, you're left with a tub of what I think is meant to be lilac but ends up looking quite grey. A disappointing end considering the rainbow of colour you first get. While the fizzing process is fun, the Experimenter leaves you with a rather meh experience by the end of it. 

If you're not up for a trip to London, you can order the Experimenter online for £3.95 each.
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November 18, 2015

An Afternoon in Newcastle

Small fact about myself, I was born in Newcastle but raised abroad. It only occurred to me recently that the only thing I kind of know Newcastle for is Georgie Shore, which I don't even watch. So while visiting relatives up North, I made time during one afternoon exploring the city centre.

The first thing I noticed when stepping out of the train station, was how well Geordies live up to their friendly reputation. With this being my first getaway since New York, the contrast in just small, casual interactions hit me hard. From the florist by the station, to the taxi drivers and even retail workers. On our day of playing tourist, the first thing we did was catch the sunrise by the Tyne.

After shower and breakfast, we made our way into town to check out the castle Newcastle was named after. It was surprising to discover how compact the city centre was. It turned out, the castle was only 30 seconds away from where we were staying. After a hunt for the ticket booth, we navigated out way around the maze of a castle before checking out the view on top.

From there we walked up Grey street, known for it's grade I buildings. This was what I was most looking forward to checking out as it's been raved about. However, aside from it being a beautiful street, it was mainly just restaurants on the road. I was disappointed by the lack of independent boutiques that it used to have according to my older relatives.

After passing by the Early Grey monument at the top of Grey Street, we headed into Grainger Market to avoid the busy shoppers. The market has a mash of things, from fruit and veg to a Marks & Spencers stall, there's bath bombs, Turkish lamps and even some vintage style clothing. After a browse, we settled on getting a snack at an affordable Turkish stall adorned with the tiniest tables and stools. Our day basically ended after we got sucked into the Eldon Square shopping centre. Admittedly, doing a lot of window shopping in the Fenwick beauty hall. Next time I stop by, I plan on not being lured in by all the stores and partake in some more cultural activities. 
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November 15, 2015

Marc Jacobs The Lolita Palette

When Marc Jacobs first announced the launch of his beauty line, the beauty blogging began buzzing with excitement. Me? I got sucked right in, the peculiarly shaped but sleek packaging. So when I finally walked into a Sephora in Paris earlier this year, I basically only picked up items from his line. After months of trying out the Lolita palette, I finally have a kind of review. By 'kind of', I mean I can't actually decide how I feel about it.

The Lolita palette has been my got everyday nude palette for work for a while now. It's probably the sleekest one I own with it's ultra slim packaging. In fact it's so thin, that the brand even provides a sleeve to place the palette in. While I originally thought it was pointless, it's been handy for during travels and prevents scratches.

While the packaging is nothing short of perfect, I wish I could say the same for the eyeshadows. The eyeshadows don't have any names. From left to right the 7 shadows come in matte off-white cream, matte nude, matte dark coffee brown, metallic warm pink with iridescent glitter, iridescent champagne pink sheen, light peach sheen, rosy copper sheen. 

The 3 matte shadows are a bit powdery. With the dark brown being least pigmented out of all and doesn't apply evenly. Of the four shimmery shadows, the first one has bad fallout, even if you manage to apply it without creating a glittery mess, as the day goes on, I found glitter all over my face. The next one is too pink for my yellow skin tone. The other two shadows though? Perfect. Well, almost. 

I'm personally used to just dabbing my makeup brush into my eyeshadows as they're usually super pigmented. However, I find I have to dig into these shadows for pigmentation. I do get a lot of use from this palette and despite all it's flaws it's still easy to create everyday looks with it. However, with all of the glowing reviews this palette has had along with the price of $59, I was expecting a perfect palette and I was disappointed to find that it was a good one...just not a perfect one!

So, don't expect a flawless palette. It is a good palette and it's very easy to get a lot of use out of. Ultimately, I can't see myself repurchasing this. I would however be willing to try out a different Marc Jacobs palette, one with less matte shadows in particular.
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November 12, 2015

Jeffree Star Androgyny & Doll Parts Swatches

On the off chance you haven't heard, Jeffree Star has released 5 limited edition liquid lipsticks this Christmas. He's even released a very tempting discounted bundle for all 5. I could even justify the unusual shades released this year, the white would have been great for mixing and the green liquid lipstick would be interesting paired with my current neon green hair. However, on the day of release, I managed to contain myself and settled for two.

Doll Parts, Celebrity Skin, Androgyny

Androgyny is described as a plum mauve. When I first wore it, I was surprised by how dark it was, especially as it looked so normal in the promo images. I was even more surprised by how normal it looked when I took photos too as again, in the flesh, it's quite a deep colour. It's not quite the everyday lip colour I expected like Celebrity Skin but I see myself getting a fair amount of use from it.

Doll Parts is described as a soft cool toned pink. My god, I know Androgyny is the lip colour that everyone is obsessed with but Doll Parts is easily a must! As a pink hater and someone of a medium skin tone, I finally have a somewhat girly pink lip colour that actually suits me. It feels somewhat Barbie-ish but it actually somehow manages to not clash against my skin. I've gotten a lot of use from this already, I'm almost tempted to buy another spare for if I finish it. 

So those are my swatches! I can't give much of an in depth review on these as I've had them for less than a week. I personally prefer the white packaging over the bright pink one too. Androgyny and Doll Parts seem to be of the same excellent quality that my other velour liquid lipsticks are. As these are limited edition, I thought I'd share some swatches soon before they're completely gone. 

Have you picked up anything from Jeffree's Christmas collection? What do you have your eye on?
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November 04, 2015

Life Lately | October

This is the first October, I seemed to have actually noticed and appreciated autumn. I've somehow managed to never notice yellow, orange and red leaves everywhere during the last 5/6 years of being in the UK. 

It's been a long time since I picked up a book and just couldn't put it down. A Thousand Splendid Suns, the sequel to the Kite Runner, is not a light read and easily dampened my mood this month. At the same time, it made me grateful for everything I have in my life and made my count my blessings. My job, my partner, my family, my education, the fact that I can afford a roof over my head. Just everything!

At the start of the month, I got sent down to London for work. After my commitments, I checked out the ever so raved about new Lush store (while seeking shelter from the rain), because damn, how could a shop really garner so much hype amongst beauty bloggers? What's the big deal? As a cynic, I was pleasantly surprised. Staff were even friendlier than other branches and the Oxford Street exclusive items are what made it worth the trip.

Halloween night was a bit quieter this month. For the first time ever, I actually tried my hand at pumpkin carving! I got a little too enthusiastic trying it as Halloween was never a big deal during my childhood. After a bit of baking we binge watched the entire Netflix Scream TV show. Which wasn't the plan, I just can't help myself with murder mysteries, and HAVE to know who did it.

October has been a frustrating month. I have no future plans and no idea where I'm heading. Each time I try to organise something, plans never seem to quite pull through. Or there are a lot we might do this, might not, only time will tell. It's been really difficult to accept that I can't do anything to make sure plans pull through.

In other news, I've mixed things up with my hair a little, and just gone full on neon/slimey green:

To get this colour, I mixed up Manic Panic's Electric Banana with a teensy bit of Electric Lizard since I has so much blue leftover in my hair. Both dyes are UV reactive which has amused me a bit too much. Most comments on the new hair has been "it's very Halloween-y". Despite that, the plans are for the colour to stay a while in November. At least until I'm bored before returning to peacock shades.
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November 01, 2015

First Attempt at Sugarskull Makeup

I tend to get a bit irritated with myself each Halloween. My brain goes on overdrive with possible ideas but when it comes down to it, I struggle to ever deliver those ideas. For one, I don't have the time. Work is the main thing to blame but when you combine that with the face that we get so few daylight hours during this time of the year, taking photos become impossible.

Then there's always the face that a lot of things never turn out the way I had planned or imagined it. I suppose this just comes down to the fact that all these Youtubers, Instagrammers and Makeup Artists just make it look so easy. Sugar skulls have always seemed like a simple enough thing to do, paint your face white and throw on some fancy designs over it. Experimenting with a new medium (face paint in this case), and expecting things to turn out perfectly was silly of me. 

Ultimately all I can do is carry on practising and getting used to these face paints. Maybe plan a few Halloween bits a while in advance next year too. Fingers crossed. next year I'll finally get it together and do a better job. I definitely plan on retrying a sugar skull face next year too!

Products Used
Mehron Black and White face paints
Urban Decay Electric Palette shadows in Urban and Jilted
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