Sunday, 7 February 2010

Things I'm loving, and some disappointments...

So it's that time again, to take stock of my favourite makeup. Certain basics will never be given up or compromised, namely Estee Lauder Double Wear, and Lancome Effacernes, and Lancome Hypnose. But other areas are a free for all. And these are the winners and losers.

For eyes, I have been enjoying loose minerals. I resent their messiness but appreciate the pleasure that the colour in the case is the instant colour on my lid. Not all mineral makeup is created equal though, and if the payoff is not equivalent to the promise, then of course they are a waste of time. My favourite is by Calypso minerals, the Rainbow stacker. But recently this "company" has fallen the way of previous individuals, with customers not receiving their orders amidst puny excuses of family crisis etc etc. Aside from that, judged on its own merits, these colours are pure and vibrant and only need a swipe to show at full force.

But as to whether you can get one of your own, it is a disorganised mystery; the Calypso Minerals etsy store is no more.

So, luckily, I have another - more reputable - company ready to take on this mantle. Naked Cosmetics. I had my makeup done using their range at IMATS and can highly recommend their foundation, however I must admit that even the lightest shade is too orange for me. But, coverage wise and texture, these are smooth and beautiful full coverage powders, with all natural ingredients. They are very similar to Bare Escentuals, just with more limited colour shades unfortunately. Hopefully their shade range will increase, as these would be perfect for me when I want a, ahem, "no makeup" day. You see, once on, the foundation really is imperceptible! Their stacked eyeshadows range from natural office-friendly colours, to all out drag queen colour overdose. My favourite is the Ebony stack. It has deep shimmering smokey blues, purples and green. All Naked minerals are brilliantly pigmented and fun to use. They go on creamy and the fallout is minimal. Sierra Nevada is another great set.

I also have found a VERY EXCITING HIGHLIGHTER!!!! I always adore highlighters, afterall they grace you with instant dewy vitality - who can resist? But MAC MSFs, despite their popularity, always leave me cold. MAC's By Candlelight, their most recent offering, as usual was too metallic and made my pores look huge and my face look older and more blemished... no, thanks. But Boots No7 have brought out a LE Spring Collection and the Natural Radiance highlighter in there is smooth, sophisticated beige gold. It is like my lovely Estee Lauder Opulent Shimmer powder, but with less sparkle. Perfect for everyday wear. I am not usually a particularly big No7 fan, though I always think of them as quite high quality. It's just that their prices are not competitive, with this highlighter for instance being £13 for 6.5g. EL Opulent shimmer powder was £24.50 for 13g. Therefore gram for gram the No7 is more expensive. But despite the plasticky packaging (and no mirror) well, these do have gemstones in them I suppose. I bought 2, as this is just so stunning on cheeks - you MUST pick one up. My counter had completely sold out after just three days. There is a great GWP on right now too... Go for it! I did see last season's highlighter on special half price offer, but that one was a garish yellow gold. Trust me, this season's offering is very pretty indeed.

EL Opulent shimmer next to Boots No7 Highlighter:

Swatch: No7 on left, EL on right. I don't know if you can tell, but the No7 hass more sheen, whilst the EL is more sparkle. The EL is more golden and er, opulent. The No7 is more glowy and natural. Sorry image quality not the best.

Gift with purchase: Very cute bag, with zips, compartments, great size gifts - lots to play with and enjoy. A nice substantial GWP.

My mud powder brush is so soft and perfect, I highly recommend it if you can get your hands on it...

I also LOVE this cute lipstick by Hard Candy, a frosty pale pink. Makes lips look full and elegant. In fact frosty lips are a new love. For years appropriated by porn stars, I now think frosty pale lips are the way forward. Another delightful one is MAC Front Lit (LE, and discontinued)- that one is amber coloured frost with multicoloured sparkles. This Hard Candy one is cheap and wonderful, and the packaging is just adorable.

And, I have found the perfect nude lipliner - finally! Not too brown, too peach or too pink. It has been a struggle, but finally, I present you... Paula Dorf Goddess.
The return of Snog, Marry, Avoid has made me happy. Any beauty addict knows there is a fine and dangerous line between loving cosmetics, and letting them make a mockery of you. It's always amusing to see these hapless characters abuse makeup. I like Jenny Frost as presenter too, even though she has had plastic surgery herself of course.

Disappointments lately - hmmm, aside from my gym deciding to put up my contract by £120 since last year (no, I have not renewed, but need to find somewhere - ugh, stress! Any inside knowledge much appreciated). The other ones have been Diesel Fuel for life - wanted this for ages, but the price seemed pitched too steep for what essentially is a jeans company, but I grabbed it in the sale. Alas, the staying power on this is very underwhelming. Another let-down has been MAC Vanilla pigment, for me this is very yellow, too warm to be the best highlighter, and too shimmery to be a useful lid colour.

All in all the beauty landscape is shaping up well. I liked seeing at IMATS how the boundaries are being pushed and retailers are responding to the consumer's ever more demanding expectations.

Have you found any delightful new makeup loves?


  1. I've just written about some lovely no 17 (no really!) solo eyeshadows I picked up - but, I can see I'm going to be back in Boots again this week checking out that highlighter, it sounds wonderful!

  2. I'm glad that I can officially put to sleep my MAC Champagne lemming. Thank you!
    I'm not a big fan of frosty lips but L'oreal's Color Riche lipsticks in the Nude families (I think discontinued? I have Organza) were a nice 'in-between' for me. I find the Rimmel Lip vinyls to be frosty at a great price:)
    Love the brush. I just picked up two brushes from BECCA...I think these are a bit better than MAC (yes! I said it!)
    My favorite nude/pink lip liner, Cedar, is from the MAC Holiday collection (it's a repurchase for me if perm.). I love the Fantasia lipstick too.

    Lovely post! I always want to know your thoughts on items! Thank you!x

  3. @Ondine

    oh yes just checked out your post!! they do look pretty! xx


    oooh Becca!! can't wait to see!! xx

  4. Lovely post! I must say that I'm very attracted to the packaging of the Hard Candy lipstick. I can't say though that I can carry off a look with a super frosty lip colour. It just doesn't go well with my skin tone.

    New lovely makeup finds? Well, 'finds' yes, but whether they would be loves....time will tell. But then again, there is this super cheap German lippy that I've been using that hasn't been drying on my lips! :)