Wednesday, December 10, 2014

5 Most Disappointing Products of 2014

As I'm counting down my favourite products of the year this month, I thought I'd balance things out by writing up some of my least favourite products this year. I want to emphasise the fact that this isn't a worst products of the year post, just products that disappointed me the most as I've been lucky enough to not have many products that are so bad that they're completely useless.

The biggest let down for me has definitely been Illamasqua's matte lip liquid range. I've already mentioned in my review that I've always loved the brand, they're responsible for my makeup addiction problems, I decided to give them another try and tried out a second hand one in the shade Exotic (orange) and was still disappointed. It crumbles away and doesn't apply easily. I think Illamasqua knew they mucked this one up as the product disappeared off their site soon after.

Next up, is MAC's matte eyeshadows, I think between my Bloody Brilliant palette and my All About Beige palette, there was only one matte shadow that performed well. Having to use a white base for such a popular brand is ridiculous. I don't understand how people can rave about their shadows, even though their other finishes perform well, I've tried better.

Both Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner and Rimmel's Apocalips were rather hyped products. Rimmel even expanded their apocalips range to include matte lip liquids but I've been put off them personally, I don't seem to get along with the entire Rimmel brand for some reason. I found myself having to constantly reapply the matte Apocalips. The Benefit they're real push up liner was a great concept but ultimately, I find using a gel pot and a brush is significantly easier and more cost effective.

Last but not least is the NYX Macaron Lippies, while I love how fun and affordable these are the longevity and durability of these are a joke. These are great for shoots but if you wanted to use these for a cosplay or fancy dress you will find yourself having to constantly reapply these over and over. The formula is too creamy which causes these to fade within an hour, in the most unflattering way, I find it has a habit of settling into the cracks of your lips.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Shiro Cosmetics The Tributes Eyeshadows

With the latest Hunger Games film releasing somewhat recently, I thought I'd finally share a few swatches of my mini Hunger Games inspired eyeshadows. Shiro Cosmetics has named the collection the Tributes, it contains the same number of shadows as there are districts (as far as we knew in the first book), 12. However, I only picked up 3 shadows that really caught my eye.

Rebellion is a deep blue-black with green and purple shimmer. When applied wet, it leans more blue but if you were to blend it out it comes off a lot more black. I admit though that when I received this colour I couldn't help but wonder if I received the wrong shade as all online swatches it seemed a lot more black/gray.

Beyond the Fence is my favourite of the three, it's a shimmery forest green with subtle brown-gold tones. Gold-greens shadows currently seem to be my latest obsession. Beyond the fence comes off a lot brighter in some parts depending on how the light hits it.

Mockingjay is described as a metallic brown copper bronze and it was easily the most pigmented shade of the three. It makes for a gorgeous inner corner highlight and if you use very little product, you can blend it out for a lovely gold highlight.

I created the eye look by applying Mockingjay into the inner corner first and then spreading it along the lower lash line. Next, I applied beyond the fence all over the lid, then blended in Rebellion into the outer corner of the lid and blended it into the gold on the lower lash line. I then blended MACs Tickety Boo into the crease. I finished the look off with liquid liner and used a kohl pencil on the outer corner of my lower lash line. While I normally like to go neutral/nude on the lips whenever I apply a lot of eyeshadow, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone instead with NYX's burgundy butter lipstick in Licorice.

If you're interested in trying any of Shiro's fandom focused eyeshadows, you can purchase a sample shadow for $1, a mini jar for $3.50 or a full sized jar with 2g of product for $6 on the Shiro website.

Have you already watched the first Mockingjay film? Or are you waiting for part two to release first?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Favourite 5 Nail Polishes of 2014

Since it's December, I thought it'd be a good idea to finish the year with a couple of favourites of 2014 posts. As I've drastically cut down how much I spend on nail polishes, I don't specifically mean polishes released this year but general favourites regardless of the year they released. 

Revlon's Parfumerie Polish in Autumn Spice was the first polish out of the entire Parfumerie range that caught my eye. It's a gorgeous dark brown shade with bronze shimmer, the perfect combination of dark and glitzy. While the spicey scent is a hit or miss, I found it almost energising. But, most importantly of all, the polish applies so well, it's almost a one-coater.

Picture Polish's Imperial has been great for nail art or just on it's own. I actually own two nail polishes by the brand but keep neglecting the other shade for Imperial's hex glitters. It screams indie, unique nail polish and it's an awesome bright in your face purple. 

Barry M Gel Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Blue Grape originally released last year and for some reason I've still not gotten around to reviewing my mini hi-shine collection. I suppose because everybody has been raving about them and I pretty much have nothing unique to say about them aside from I loved them last year and still do. Blue Grape is a glorious bright royal blue.

Illamasqua's Melange was part of their Sacred Hour collection. It was their only collection this year that caught my interest and Melange was definitely the centrepiece of it. It's a wonderful teal with flecks of gold. It's easily one of the most beautiful and unique polishes I own.

Urban Decay's Blackheart has been a surprising favourite, it's also impossible to capture it's complexity. It's a smoky 'greige' with red and multi-coloured shimmer and a gunmetal feel to it. Blackheart is my go to vampy polish as it seems to pair well with everything.
If it's not obvious, this year complex nail polishes have been a favourite for me. Have you tried any of these nail polishes? What are your current favourites? 

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Holy Grail Products #4 The Moisturiser That Made Me Believe in Moisturisers

It's been a while since my last Holy Grail post and this one is a little personal. After all, what works for my skin won't necessarily work on others. Moving from the desert to the UK, I found the harsh winters took it's toll on my once oily skin. My first British winter led to flaky skin on my face which severely lowered my confidence levels and I had no idea how to deal with it as a lot of moisturisers just seemed to dry it out more. After several months, I decided to try out a sample that was randomly handed to me in the middle of Birmingham city, Clinique's dramatically different moisturising lotion+.

What is it?
There's not much to really say aside from it being a moisturiser. It's originally one of Clinique's very first products, the dramatically differently moisturising lotion was reformulated last year. 

Why is Holy Grail worthy?
The tl;dr version is, it's both fragrance-free and allergy-free. I've actually tried out several moisturiser samples from various brands and had skin reactions to them. When I pulled out Clinique's moisturiser sample and noticed the back read fragrance free, I still didn't expect much. Within a week, I noticed a huge difference in my skin. All of my eczema induced flaky skin had healed up with no skin reaction nor any spots. If you have especially dry skin, this is probably the moisturiser you're looking for. 

Application Tips
While it's easy to use a lot in one go, I would avoid applying too much at a time as a little goes a long way. When I had my little sample, I tried to be as frugal as possible. When I went one size up, I admit to have gone through most of it rather quickly. 

Price and Availability
You can purchase Clinique's dramatically different moisturising lotion + from any Clinique counter. It's one of those brands that seem to be available everywhere, Boots, Debenhams, House of Fraser and Selfridges tend to have Clinique stands from £17.50 to £30.

Do you have a holy grail moisturiser? Have you tried Clinique's?
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