Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New Louise Young brushes!

Louise Young has been steadily cornering her market, and has blending brushes for even the most pernickety of makeup fans. The new brushes, which have now gone live on the website, include the introduction of shorter handled brush versions of the popular LY38 and LY39, as well as a new LY38 A and LY38 B. The LY38 A is just marginally slimmer than the original (might make all the differnce to some), but the LY38 B is nothing short of a revelation for asian or other smaller lids. It is the slimmest blending brush I have ever seen, yet still has soft bristles and a delicate feel. Usually smaller lids have to resort to using smaller and inevitably denser pencil brushes to reach into their eye crease. The LY38 B is surely destined to be a must-have for many.

Here are some photos, and please check my video review here for details on all the brushes.

From top: LY04, LY03, LY39 short handle, (All £17) LY38 B (£15), LY38 short handle (£17) and LY38 A (£16)

Review: Estée Lauder Wild Violet Collection - and upcoming products!

I am so ecstatic with my new Estée Lauder "Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipsticks" (£17.50) - every shade in the Wild Violet collection is a timeless must-have. The formulas are reliably smooth and never drying, the staying power is impeccable, and most of all, the colours are all so flattering! It takes Wild Violet, the eponymous lipstick, to remind me how pretty berry lips are. It has just the right amount of pink to look girly, and just enough purple to stop it looking twee. And Wild Fire has the same balanced perfection - just enough red to be a red, just enough orange to stop it being too classic! A truly modern red. Wild Coral is a beautiful soft wearable satin tangerine shade that recalls the impossible to buy Limited Edition Lancome Chris n' Tell lipstick. Finally the dusky pink Wild Blossom, a wearable everyday antique rose colour, ideal for pale complexions in particular. Each lipstick takes only one swipe for true colour. Wild Blossom took 2 on my pigmented lips but would be opaque on most lips even with one. They contain vitamins C and E and have a light fig scent, and wear for at least 5 hours on me.

Each lipstick is accompanied with its own Pure Colour Gelée (£16), and although I would say you probably in this instance can simply choose one, I must admit that these are another winner for me: they make lips look a LOT plumper. As Estée Lauder promises, " A luminous finish that does not disappoint." They are rather sheer on bare lips, but over the lipsticks they work wonders. The colours are: Electric Cherry, Electric Violet, Electric Pink and Electric Coral. Cherry is a reddened coral, Violet is a magenta, Pink is a fuschia and Coral is a true tangerine coral. These look like water and feel like it too: moisturising and comfortable, and never sticky. Wear time on these is probably only up to 2 hours or so before reapplication is needed to get back to that fantastic shine.

There is also the Wild Violet eyeshadow palette (£34) which looks fairly similar to the Christmas one but with more shimmer and perhaps less warm, with the jewel in the crown being the stunning deep purple at the centre. The pencil, Untamed Violet (£15.50) is a very blue purple, rather a cornflower blue on me.

In addition, Estée Lauder have brought out their hotly anticipated return to coloured mascaras. These always sell out in record time, and now having tried Extreme Indigo, I can see why. Unlike most coloured mascaras, this one actually did look blue on my lashes - and not just when I stood in direct sunlight. With its claims of "Solid Rod Fibre", "Hollow Tube Fibre" and "Micro-Locking Fibre" I was somewhat skeptical. Yet the hollow fibre and flexible fibre and "Y" shaped fibres apparently do work: this mascara is easily built up to create volumised and lengthened blue eyelashes. I am very impressed with this and appreciate the narrow wand.

"Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiying mascara" (£22.)

I will be testing out the (thankfully permanent) Extreme Black shade next! This also comes in Extreme Brown (permanent) and another limited edition shade, Extreme Violet.

The collection is completed with a new Limited Edition Nail polish in Wild Storm (£12.50), a somewhat generic steel grey, and a Limited Edition perfume called Wild Elixir (£32), which I briefly tested in store and found fairly familiar too. It smells like something that will be very popular: a flowery yet faintly woody amber scent.

All in all I would highly suggest you check the lipsticks out - very high quality and flattering everyday colours, and then check the glosses and mascara. And whilst you are at the counter, you must get a Double Wear Shadowcreme, I recently picked up "Pink Blush" and it's yet another ideal base. I hope they bring out more colours soon.

The Derek Lam fashion show at New York Fashion week has given a few clues as to what is next with Tom Pecheux at the helm -

- two new eyeshadows in silver and black, a new matte nude lipstick, and a new very exciting sounding Idealist Even Skin Illuminator, as well as a new Illuminating powder. These wonderful photos show how these simple shades, combined with a dramatic angular eye shape, can suit a variety of skin tones and always look both modern and classic.

Plus, thanks to musings of a muse blog, I am counting the days until Bronze Goddess makes its triumphant return. There will be a new eyeshadow palette and this absolutely perfect "Sea Star Bronzing Blusher." This is why Estée Lauder has been my favourite brand for so long. Fun, yet never ever loses sight of what looks good on the face.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Review: Trish McEvoy Even Skin Beta Hydroxy pads

For the past few weeks I have been using Trish McEvoy's "Even Skin Beta Hydroxy pads". Unlike most exfoliating pads, these are saturated with moisture and feel very 'wet' - a world away from the drying alcohol feel of most exfoliating pads that leave skin reassuringly red and prickly. Instead, these pads feel very soothing. And yet, I have already noticed a visible brightening effect and my skin has been very clear.

At £45 for 40 pads, these are rather an indulgence. But from reading the positive reviews on makeupalley, some ingenious suggestions include cutting the pads into halves (each pad has plenty of moisture so even a half dose will apply enough for your entire face!) or using the pad as a simaltaneously anti aging face and hand remedy (again, plenty of moisture to ensure both areas are treated.) In the light of these tricks, and bearing in mind that a facial costs upwards of £45, these are a viable option.

My very first encounter with exfoliating pads was, indeed, when I had a facial that consisted of a beautician simply applying a glycolic pad (to the tones of rainforest and whale song mind) and it was definitely about £40 for the privilege. I would recommend these pads in particular to those with sensitive skin or aging skin, as it rewards you with the benefits of exfoliation - without the downtime of red angry skin. I have also made a video review here.

Trish McEvoy range is available at Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

N.B. Trish McEvoy also offers a skincare set [pictured above] "The Skin Enhancement Collection" for £202.50 for 7 items (including the famous Beauty Booster serum and the Beta Hydroxy pads) in a quilted white bag.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

I red your lips...

...And it seems 61% insist "Yes, sometimes the occasion demands a red lip at least!" and a further 19% go as far as boasting, "Yes, every day! I give Gwen Stefani a run for her money!"

I must admit I expected more people to be in the nude camp (so to speak) but seeing as most people are unwilling to relinquish red lips, it seems we recognise the undeniable force and symbolism of bold lips.

From the regimented power of the red lipped backing dancers in Robert Palmer's music video, to the threatening seduction of Marilyn Monroe - red lipstick has the power to tantalise like no other makeup can. Arguably the most erogenous feature, lips are most dominating when slicked with a bold shade. Simultaneously seductive and domineering, red lips can evoke a forthright business face or all-out glamour.

In business, women recognised that a sharp (inevitably male inspired) suit can be juxtaposed with a red lip to create a delicate balance... Their gender is thus conceded, yet red lips forbid an assertion of weakness. I imagine this is at the heart of why a bold lip will never be old news: a shock of colour will always provoke attention, and marks out the wearer as confident enough to realise its power.


Next week's poll: "Do you follow makeup trends?" Options and voting are above now!