Sunday, 19 November 2017

12 Christmas Calendars That You Can Still Buy

Long ago if you wanted a Christmas advent calendar you only had the choice of buying chocolate ones or even one with just a picture behind each door (those were dire times.) Now (thank goodness) there's a variety of advent calendars out there alcoholic, tea, coffee, marshmallow, lastly beauty ones! While I love me some chocolate here are some beauty calendars that are still in stock ready to claim your heart.

Budget Calendars 

Mad Beauty

For some reason MAD Beauty have released two types of packaging for their calendar which I think is a bit confusing. They both have the same 24 mini beauty treats inside though. The contents include: two lipsticks (3.5g), powder compact (3.5g) three nail polishes (5ml), three lip glosses (6.5ml), two lip glosses (2.5ml), two eye shadows (3g), an eyeliner pencil (0.5g), lip liner pencil (0.5g), blusher (3.5g), blusher (2.5g), sharpener, toe Separator, lip brush, blush brush, nail file, applicator and festive nail stickers.
You can buy it here Find Me A Gift £16.99

Tanya Burr
This calendar has 12 limited edition gifts to mark the 12 days of Christmas. It's up to you how to open the calendar. You could open one door everyday from 1st December or one door every other day. You could even open it on Christmas Day.
The Price was originally £30 but Superdrug are selling them at £20 & Feel Unique £18.99 

Make Up Revolution London Advent Calendar 
This calendar contains 24 gifts inside. These include baked highlighters, bronzer, lipsticks, makeup brushes, eye shadow primer, liquid highlighter,  Revoholic Travel Mirror,  pressed highlighters, strobe balms and a full size exclusive Revoholic Eyeshadow palette! Originally this calendar was £50 but now it's been knocked down to £25.
Superdrug £25

Best Value Calendar

Latest In Beauty You Beauty Advent Calendar
The You Beauty Calendar from Latest In Beauty contains 24 gifts that add up to over £230 worth of premium beauty products! These include ESPA, The White Company, NIP+FAB, Ciate, Bare Minerals, Make Up Revolution, Gatineau, Leighton Denny, Lipcote, Rodial, REN Skincare, This Works, Charles Worthington, Look Better Feel Better and Oribe. You can see the exact products here.
If you  Order the Latest In Beauty You Advent Calendar before November 22nd the price is £55

Luxury Calendars
I chose these two 'luxury' calendars because I felt that being under £100 they would be more affordable. I think that you get more for your buck with the two calendars below.

Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar 
For a department store beauty calendar this is probably the cheapest at £70. The Calendar has 24 gifts with a total value of £250. I didn't include this in the best value category because it's one of the pricier ones I'm writing about but I do think this is exceptionally good value.
Inside the Calendar you will find (spoilers ahead!)

Skincare & Body
Rodial Super Acid Rush Peel 20ml
St Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Body Lotion 50ml
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask 30ml
Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet 15ml
Molton Brown Rhubarb and Rose Body Wash 100ml

Lord & Berry Travel Cheek (blusher) Crayon
Eve Lom Cleanser
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta extra Strength (3)
Dr Roebucks Deluxe Face Moisturiser 20ml
Erborian CC Cream
Cover FX Mattifying Primer 5ml
Beautyblender LINER.DESIGNER

Blink Brow Exfoliator
Eylure Lash 101
Eyeko Deluxe Black Magic Mascara
IT Cosmetics Brow Powder Eye Brow Pencil 0.7g
3INA The Pen Eyeliner

NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream

Ouai Finishing Créme 0.5oz

Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil 8ml
Cowshed Soothing Hand Cream 50ml

Tweezerman Clipper

This Works Pillow Spray

This calendar below is available at Selfridges £70

Look Fantastic Advent Calendar Beauty In Wonderland. 
This advent calendar includes 25 gifts, nine full-sized products and sixteen deluxe samples. In total nineteen of  these are exclusive to Look Fantastic. Worth £300 it gives you the chance to explore new as well as cult products. The packaging is simply stunning, making the experience of opening this calendar a really special, magical treat. When Christmas is over you can use the beautiful case, complete with the looking glass as a vanity unit to store your beloved beauty treats and essentials
Look Fantastic £79 

Nail Polish Calendars

Primark 12 Days Of Christmas Nail Polish Advent Calendar
This budget nail calendar contains 12 amazing nail polishes.
Available at Primark in stores £10.

Ciate Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar

This advent calendar includes 24 gifts that includes seventeen Mini Paint Pots (5ml), two Mini treatments (5ml), topcoat (5ml), two glitter toppers (5ml), nail file and full size Glitter (13.5ml.) If you buy from Very you have the option of  spreading the cost out over the months ahead.
Look Fantastic £50 Very £50 

Essie Nail Polish Advent 24 Days Christmas Countdown
A 24 day advent calendar containing a fun festive mix of colour, gel couture and nail care products. It includes seven nail polishes (a mix of core colour and gel couture), thirteen mini nail polishes, one mini nail polish remover and three Essie mani surprises. Also contains five shades exclusive to this calendar. The price has been knocked down to half price from £80 to £40!
Superdrug £40 

Cruelty Free Calendar

NYX Cosmetics Lippy Countdown 
This calendar contains 24 days of lippies!  This includes NYX's Butter Glosses™,  Soft Matte Lip Creams and more in this limited-edition box of goodies.
Feelunique £50.

More Calendars

12 Days of Beauty Calendar by Feel Unique
Feel Unique's 12 days of Advent Calendar includes brands from Elizabeth Arden, NYX, Jurlique, Palmer’s and Rimmel and more. The combined value is worth £90.
Feelunique Advent Calendar, £35

Amazon Beauty Advent Calendar
The Amazon Beauty Advent Calendar contains a combination of 24 products and deluxe samples from favourite beauty brands including Maybelline, Rituals and John Frieda. The total sum of the products comes to £185! The marble and gold packaging is so gorgeous, I'm thinking of painting my own version for backgrounds in my blog photos! 

Any Calendars catch your eye? Which Calendars will you be buying? 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Katy Perry Killer Queen Perfume EDP Review

Hello everyone! So what are your opinions on celebrity perfumes? Generally the whole celebrity perfume trend has past me by. However I do own Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC which I bought for the fruity scent and the fact that it was fairly cheap. (Definitely not for the bottle.) While I love some of Katy Perry's songs including Fireworks, E.T. , Rise and Swish Swish, I'm not a devoted fan. However right now I seem to be writing this to a Katy Perry playlist on Youtube!

Katy Perry's Killer Queen perfume was inspired by the lyrics of Freddie Mercury's 'Killer Queen.' She explained "Freddie Mercury painted the lyrics of this woman who I wanted to be. She seemed very powerful and she captivated a room as she walked in..I think I'm falling finally into the woman Freddie painted."  I like the fact that the name she gave her perfume was personal and not a random name that sounded cute or cool.  The perfume is described as sophisticated, edgy, powerful and a delicious scent.

The perfume bottle is just so stunning! Quite simply: The. bottle. is. everything!  I love the gorgeous ombre ruby design, it completely matches the concept Killer Queen because the lid looks like the top of a royal orb. The crest on the cap has Katy's initials and on the reverse side there is a picture of two cats which is cute. The bottle looks so pretty and classy on a dressing table. Because of the diamond shaped bottle it has to sit on it's side so it does take up more space than other perfumes. You can keep the perfume in the packaging but it's a bit bulky and the plastic doesn't do the magnificent bottle any justice. It's a shame it doesn't come with a elegant stand to hold the bottle but I found a quick  D.I.Y Perfume Stand Tutorial by Judy from This and That which looks easy to do, so I'll probably give that a go at some stage.

This was given to me by a friend, it isn't a perfume I would usually choose myself as I prefer fruity and oceanic scents. The opening notes are plum, bergamot and forest fruits. This is followed by the middle notes jasmine sambac, frangipani and celosia. Finally the end notes are praline, patchouli and cashmeran. The initial spray is quite sweet and smells similar to Lancome's La Vie Est Belle and then becomes more musky. At the the end I can smell the patchouli, cashmeran and praline.  Although the scent is described as fruity- I would say it's more of a sweet, spicy and gourmand scent as it smells sweet like caramel which is probably the praline I'm picking up.The perfume is hard to pin down as it changes through the day. Despite this it's not a particularly unique smell. I think the scent does match the name because it's quite adult and sophisticated with a spicy, dark note. It's a warm scent that would be good to wear during autumn/winter and the spicy notes gives it more of a sexy scent to wear in the evenings. I've read reviews complaining that the perfume doesn't last very long but on me it lasts an average of 6-8 hours which I think is pretty standard for a perfume. The sillage or 'perfume cloud' is soft to moderate, initially for the first few hours other people can smell it but after that it wears closer to the skin. I think it only comes in Eau De Parfum.

Although it's not my holy grail perfume I enjoy wearing it and I like the fact that I have another evening perfume to wear (the only other one I have is Ghost Night.) Now among my fresh and fruity fragrances I have something more spicy and sexy in my collection.  It is an affordable perfume and good value for money as you can pick up larger bottles fairly cheaply (apart from Boots.). The bottle looks luxurious for such a low price point. I think if you like sweet and spicy perfumes or gourmand scents you'd like this.

The Perfume Shop 100ml EDP £12.99
ASDA Direct 100ml EDP £18
Argos 100ml EDP £19.99
Fragrance Direct Gift Set 30ml EDP £12.99
FOR U.S.A. Target 3.4 fl OZ EDP $13.99  

Friday, 29 September 2017

15 Autumn /Winter 2017 Makeup Trends

Unusually for the Autumn/ Winter season the makeup worn on the catwalks featured a lot of brightly coloured eye makeup, pastels and pink which I tend to associate with spring and summer. The nineties influence was still evident at Jill Stuart and at Valentino with their grunge makeup. The hangovers from the spring/summer 2017 fashion shows were glossy eyes and burgundy eye makeup. I'm not complaining as I love them both. I think Urban Decay dropping their Naked Heat palette this year was a smart move considering 2017 seems to be the year of  burgundy and copper eyes. Metallic makeup is trending and I can't wait to try Balmain's and Brandon Maxwell's metallic rock eyes. Also the sixties influence was felt across the shows with Twiggy doll-like eyelashes. Scroll down to see this seasons gorgeous make up! (Just a warning this post is quite photo heavy.)

Left: Getty Images Centre Getty Images  Right Getty Images

The edgy, metallic look for Balmain was created with MAC's Eye Shadow in Carbon,  MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack and Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline to create the smokey eye. Then Mac's Pigment in Platinum was dabbed across the lower lash line and MAC's Copper Sparkle Pigment was added to the top lid. Models were impeccably contoured with MAC's Sculpting Powder in Definitive and wore gold lips.

At Brandon Maxwell, makeup artist Tom Percheux used MAC's Kohl Power eye pencil in Feline blending the liner from the upper lash line to the crease. This was set with MAC's eye shadow in Carbon before applying MAC pigment in copper sparkle. Then MAC Haute and Naughty Mascara  completed the look. The lips were painted with soft colours from the MAC Trend Forecast Fall 2017 palette.

Alberta Ferreti went for a "Venice at Night" look. They used MAC Paint Stick in Basic Red pressed in the centre of the eye lid over MAC's eyeshadow in Carbon. Then MAC's Kohl Power Pencil in Feline was applied to finish the smoky eye. A little bit of gold face powder brightened the inner corners of the eyes. Finally lips were muted with MAC Lip Erase In Dim.

Metallic Eye shadows were spotted across the fashion shows in a variety of shades.  At La Perla the burgundy eye was achieved by layering a lip liner, a lipstick in the same shade as well as two eye shadows: the plum shade from Maybellines 24K Nudes Shadow Palette and Maybelline's Expert Wear Eye Shadows in Fierce Fuchsia. At Central Saint Martins silver eye shadow was paired with a pastel purple brow which looked odd yet beautiful. At Alexis Mabille MAC's Gold Pigment was mixed with MAC's Mixing Medium Eyeliner and painted on with visible brushstrokes, followed by MAC's Haute and Naughty Lash Mascara. Nails were then painted gold to match.

Right Getty Left Imaxtree

Models at Marni had heavily kohl rimmed eyes making them look every inch a rock chick. At Yamamoto make up artist Pat Mcgrath painted one eye red and the other had a black diagonal stripe across the lid and the cheek and the lips were painted black. To create the rock inspired sixties cat eyes seen at Chloe, makeup artist Aaron De Ray used MAC's Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline smudged across the upper and lower lids. Then  MAC Pro Long wear Fluidline in Blacktrack was used to create the flicks while MAC's Lipglass in Clear was dabbed on the eyelids for shine.

Cantre Getty Images Left Imaxtree

For Valentino, Pat McGrath chose to draw a reverse cat eye by lining only the lower lid in a burgundy eye pencil. Lips were then painted burgundy to match. At Osman models either had glossy bright red lips or messy black glossy eyes. While at Jill Stuart half the models were fresh faced the other half were given a grunge makeup look with brown glossy eyes, full brows and bare lips.


At Christian Siriano rivers of copper glitter flowed from the models' eyes for this "Victorian Techno Goth Walking in The Valley of Fire " look. Over at Phillip Plein, one of the looks was 'slick goth' where both the eyes and lips were given a glossy treatment. For this look makeup artist Yazim used  Maybelline 24K Nude Eyes palette, Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara and Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Hot  Lacquers. While at Fenty Puma some of the models wore dark purple-black lips and lots of eyeliner.

Left: Imaxtree  Centre Imaxtree Right Maybelline

At Derek Lam pastels were used for a winter like frost. To copy this look use Maybelline's Expert Wear Eye Shadow in Purple Daze, NY Silver and Teal the Deal. Golan and Stella Jean went for a baby pastel blue on the eye lids. Over at Mary Katrantzou models wore a wash of lilac purple eye shadow with MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite and MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish. As you can see above the lilac-purple looked amazing on deeper skin tones.

Centre: Imaxtree Left Imaxtree

At Mark Fast, blusher was applied in an 'upside down' technique: applying blusher from the temple down to the top of the cheekbone and blending it in the hairline. Makeup artist Lisa Potter Dixon used Benefit's Majorette Cream Blush and then Benefit's Galifornia Pink Blusher on top. Using a wet brush with Benefit's Galifornia blusher she lined the the upper eyelid and then applied  Benefit's Mascara in Beyond Blue.  Benefit's Double Lip was applied to the lips. Pink lips were also seen at Andrew G N drawn in an 1920's cupid bow shape while models at Anrealage wore satin pink eye shadow and pale pink lips.

7. 60's LASHES

Centre: Chanel

 At Chanel, the sixties space age look was created with Chanel's Ombre Première eye shadow in Titane then Chanel's Calligraphie De Chanel Longwear Intense Cream Liner was used to draw the floating line above the crease. Sixties doll like lashes were created with Le Volume De Chanel Mascara in Black and then individual false lashes were applied in small clusters along the bottom lash line.  Then Le Rouge Crayon De Couleur in Rose Violine gave a soft pink colour to the lips. Over at Jeremy Scott the makeup artist used MAC's 7 false eyelashes. These extra long strip lashes were cut into individual lashes and glued to the lower lash line. Afterwards a coating of MAC's Haute and Naughty Black Mascara was applied. Then the makeup artist drew on a golden tear inspired by the tears of the Virgin Mary.  To add a rosy blush MAC's Kabuki Magic Today We Live Powder Blush Duo was used. Over at Tadashi Shoji the makeup artist drew fake lower lashes with black eye liner and used glitter in between them for a sixties Twiggy look. 


Left: Getty Images Centre Imaxtree Right:Imaxtree

At Teatum Jones skin was fresh and dewy. Lord and Berry's blush and matte lipstick pencil gave a natural, minimal makeup look. Over at JW  Anderson make up artist Mark Carrasquillo went for a "squeaky clean" no makeup look. He liberally applied NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Moisturizer followed by NARS Soft Matte Concealer. While at Emilia Wickstead Sisley's Sisleya L'Intergral Anti Age cream was applied to models faces and then Sisley Le Teint Foundation to even out complexions. On the cheeks, Sisley's Phyto Blush Eclat added colour. On the eyes were Sisley Ombre Glow and the brows were filled with Sisley Phyto-Sourcils Perfect Brow Pencil.


Left: Getty Images Right: Getty Images

There was also a trend for thick, feathery, brushed up brows seen at Narciso Rodriguez and Erin Featherston. At  Uma Wang the look was more androgynous.


Left Getty Images Centre Imaxtree Right  Getty Images

I love Dolce and Gabbana's aesthetic. For their look Dolce and Gabbana's Glam Liner in Black Intense was used to create the perfect cat eye as well as Dolce and Gabbana Eye Shadow Quad in Smoky 105. All models wore Dolce and Gabbana's Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation. Lips were painted with Dolce Matte and Classic Cream Lipsticks in reds, pinks and nude shades on different models. The look from PPQ combined two trends- the sixties eyes paired with nighties lips. Makeup artist Polly Osmond used Lord and Berry's Seta eyeshadow in Ranja, Charcoal and Porcelain. Lips were lined with Lord and Berry's lip liner in Blush and then filled in with a paler contrasting lipstick. Neat feline flicks were also seen at Philosophy with a trace of lilac on the lower lid.

Left Getty Images

Bold, graphic cat eyes also stole the show. At Versace, Pat McGrath used a shadow stick from her Dark Star #006 set that somehow manages to look matte and yet wet. At YSL, Tom Pecheux took the unprecedented step of dipping a finger in YSL's Shock Mascara and then smeared it across the lid in a messy, graphic cat eye. At Prabal Gurung face makeup was kept to a minimum to ensure the focus was on the bright graphic eyes. Models wore either a orange blue, or green graphic eye. The look was created with MAC's Chromacake in Cyan, Genuine Orange, Marine Ultra, Landscape Dream and True Chartreuse.


Left: Getty Images Centre Imaxtree

At Isa Afran, make up artist Andrew Gallimore used liner to create an autumn appropriate  "skeleton leaf" around models' eyes. He also used NARS Bali Matte Eye Shadow and NARS Soft Matte Concealer. The makeup at Chalayan was inspired by both Japan and the 80's to create a "weird club kid geisha." Make up artist Thomas de Kluyver used MAC's lip pencil in Cherry around the eyes as well as the lips and further defined the eyes using MAC's Pro long wear eyeliner in Definedly BlackAt Mugler a sharp thin angular line was drawn above the crease.

                                                                           11) BRIGHT EYE MAKE UP

Centre Rex Right: Imaxtree
Makeup at Byblos saw bright combinations of blue and yellow eye makeup that somehow reminds me of a bird of paradise. Maison Margiela stole the show with bright graphic eyes in rainbow colours on the lids and bleached orange brows. Bright eyes at Vivienne Westwood came courtesy of MAC's Chromographic pencil in Hi Def Cyan.

Left: Imaxtree Right Imaxtree
Be it Sunset eyes or autumn leaves, Carmen Marc Valvo's bright makeup looked stunning.  Chanel also joined in with their 'punk rainbow' eye shadow that contrasted against the charcoal coloured clothing collection. At House of Holland, olive green, orange and mauve glitter were dubbed across the eyes for a colourful look. This was topped with The Body Shop Lash Hero Fibre Extension Mascara in blue Texas Topaz. To balance the look and keep the focus on the eyes lips were toned down along with a bare face.


Left Imaxtree Centre:Imaxtree Right: Getty Images 
At Oscar De La Renta Tom Pecheaux used MAC's Chromacakes for this two tone 'banana' eye, specifically MAC's Chromagraphic Pencil in Process Magenta was used on all the models and then each models' eyelids were then painted either Cyan, Rich Purple or Genuine Orange. The look was said to be inspired by "happiness." The stripy eye at Richard Malone was created with MAC's Chromaline Liners in Pure White, Genuine Orange and their Blue Work It Out Sky is the Limit Mascara which was used as a liner with MAC's 209 Eyeliner brush. Lips were given a bit of gloss and MAC's Prep and Prime Essential Oil Slick was used on the T-Zone for a dewy look. Crisp turquoise and white  'banana eyes' were also seen Emilio De La Morena.

Left Getty Images Centre Getty Images

At La Perla lips were dark with Maybelline's Color Sensational Loaded Bolds Lipstick in Midnight Merlot with the centre wiped away to give the lips a little 'brightness.' Giambattista Valli went for a "natural, hot, sexy, sweaty look." To create this, models had wet look hair and skin was prepped with MAC's Mineralized Charged Water Face and Body Lotion.  MAC's Mixing Medium in Shine and MAC's Lipglass in Clear were applied to the brows "to mimic the natural shine and sweat to the skin." For the bright glossy lips  MAC's lip pencil in Burgundy was mixed with a combination of MAC's Retro Lip Colours in Carnivorous, Dance With Me and High Drama. The dark glossy stain was deliberately applied patchily and imperfectly. Over at Marc Jacobs lips were coated with Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick in Blackquer and Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick in Blow. Marc Jacob's Fineliner Ultra Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Blackquer gave eyes definition.

Left Imaxtree Right Getty Images

Elie Saab went for a gorgeous dark grey smoky eye with metallic glitter along the inner corners of the eyes. To recreate this look smudge MAC's Pro Fluid Line in Blacktrack along upper and lower lash lines. Apply MAC's Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline over the eye lid and brush MAC's Glitter in 3D Silver on top of the inner eye and cheek bones. Armani also went for a grey smoky eye with a hint of pink lipstick. While a  black and silver smoky eye paired with pink lips was also spotted at PPQ.


Left Imaxtree Right Getty Images

Antonio Marras gave us a pastel smoky eye with a difference with colour concentrated on one eye only. To achieve this look you need to mix MAC's Lipmix in cyan and white and then apply to the upper eyelid and over the eyebrow for a smoky finish. Both eyes were rimmed with MAC Kohl Power Pencil in Feline and MAC eyeshadow in Carbon. Talbot Runhof had a lilac smoky eye with very subtle dash of orange liner. Over at Prada models wore lots of kohl liner with a slap dash application and with periwinkle blue pastel on the lids. 

Which is your favourite look? Which look are you excited to try out? 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Feel Unique Pick and Mix Sample Service

Hello Everyone! If you haven't already heard Feel Unique offers a Pick and Mix Sample Service. It works like this - you can choose 5 beauty samples for free and you just pay the postage and packaging which is £3.95. Then Feel Unique will send you a voucher for £3.95 which you can use on any future purchase (but not the Pick n Mix.) It's almost like you get to choose what you want in a free beauty box!

So you can only use this once a month and it's limited to UK customers for now. If you order on the 8th the next time you can use it will be the 9th of following month. It's not a subscription service so you can dip in and out whenever you want and choose whatever you want! Items are mostly high end and mainly skincare, body care and perfumes. There is a search function that can search by sample type (vial, sachet, tube, card and pot) which is really helpful as then you know what size sample you've chosen which helps you to get the most product for your money. You can also search by brand or by department (e.g. make up/ fragrance) which may save you time as there are around 300+ samples to choose from. Just so you know the Pick and Mix system doesn't let you buy two of the same product. There is also a selection of products for men- mainly aftershave, cologne, shower gel and moisturisers although some products are unisex. The products do change throughout the month but I've also seen products that I've  missed out on come back. Brands that are currently in stock include Caudalie, Elemis, Isadora, Charlotte Tilbury (foundation), Kiehls, Dr Hauschka, Emma Hardie and many more.

Here are the items I picked up....

Elemis Nourishing Omega Rich Cleansing Oil 2ml
This cleansing oil is 90%  jam packed with oils that include sunflower seed oil, castor seed oil, rosemary leaf oil and patchouli leaf oil. The Omega 3, which nourishes and calms the skin comes from the rose of winter oil and chia seed oil. The pomegranate extract is rich in Vitamin C which helps detoxify the skin and boost collagen.

This is the first cleansing oil I've tried. You apply it to dry skin, add water to emulsify the oil so it becomes a milk and then rise away with warm water. I've used it three times at night and once as a wake me up morning cleanser. It smells like essential oils and in particular of grapefruit which is very refreshing. Elemis describes their cleansing oil as a 'non stripping, gentle formula.' It did not irritate my sensitive skin and made my skin feel soft. However it wasn't great at removing makeup but this might be because I didn't use enough. I'm a bit on the fence with this one- however I will say that although Elemis is a luxury brand, the amount of product in the full sized bottle for the price is very generous with 195ml for £31.

Caudalie Moisture Recovery Cream 2ml
I added this to my basket as my skin felt a little tight and dehydrated. Caudalie Moisture Recovery cream aims to restore the hydrolipidic film and strengthen the skin barrier function, leaving skin soft and moisturised. The grape and borage oils, grape-seed polyphenols and sodium hyaluronate all hydrate the skin.This also has matte finish to the skin. I wasn't keen on the smell, it smelt a bit like cinnamon mixed with other essential oils but the smell isn't overwhelming so it's OK. I have sensitive skin and this didn't irritate my skin and I felt it did a good job of moisturising my skin.

Caudalie Vine Body Butter 7ml
This body butter contains Caudalie's trademarked Vinolevure which is extracted from wine yeast and helps to keep the skin moisturised while reinforcing the skin's immune defenses. Other key moisturising ingredients are shea butter and grape seed oil. The orange blossom and orange wood smells fresh and invigorating (although it smells a little like grapefruit to me.) The texture is like a lightweight cream rather than an heavy balm or butter and absorbs very quickly into the skin. Caudalie claims that this body butter offers 32% hydration after 8 hours. While it mositurised pretty well, I didn't find that that the hydration lasted 8 hours later. To be honest I found that The Body Shop's Mango Body Butter much better and it keeps the dry skin on my elbows moisturised for much longer.

Isadora Nude Sensation Fluid Foundation in 16 Nude Almond 3.5ml 
This is a yellow based foundation but actually looked peach/orange on me which was a shame. It is fragrance free and smells neutral or a little bit like water paint. It gives medium coverage.

Nars Laguna bronzing Powder 1g
I saw the words Nars and Laguna so I popped this into my basket without realising the sample was on a card. The powder is long wearing and very pigmented and needs some blending.  It suits my tan/olive skin tone but  I think it may be too dark for those with pale skin tones. It also contains glitter but this is not noticeable when applied onto the face. I can see why it's so coveted and it's something I will probably buy in the future.

This post is Not Sponsored by Feel Unique and I bought the products with my own money.  

Sunday, 20 August 2017

The stories Behind 8 Iconic Perfume Bottles

I'm not a perfume bottle collector although I'd love to be. Unfortunately I don't have room for a collection despite the fact that they're so priddy! Even so, I really enjoy learning about the inspiration and anecdotes behind a perfume bottle's design and the branding. A behind the scenes look around. It also gives a glimpse into history as the bottles reflect the fashion of the time or the origins of the brand. Many of the bottles below were designed by celebrated perfume bottle designer Pierre Dinard. Over at Guerlain, Robert Granai was mentored by Guerlain himself to create many of the brand's perfume bottles. I wrote a similar post a few years back about The stories behind 6 other perfume bottle designs which you can read The stories behind 6 other perfume bottle designs which you can read here.

Eau de Cologne Impériale, Guerlain (1853)

Guerlain's Bee Bottle was launched in 1853 after Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain won the title of the official royal perfumer to Napoleon's Wife. Since then the Napoleonic bee symbol has been incorporated into Guerlain's brand image. Guerlain engraved the bee bottle with the Empress' coat of arms and each bee and scalloped edge were hand-painted with gold. Nowadays there are two versions, one with the hand-painted decoration called 'the golden bee' and without called 'the white bee.'  Many people assume the domed shaped bottle was inspired by a beehive, but in fact it was actually the top part of the Vendôme column which was in the same vicinity of Guerlain's original boutique. The Vendôme column celebrated Napoleon's battle of Austerlitz and stands at the centre of the Paris Place Vendôme. Before 1955 it was common practice at Guerlain to use the same bottles for different perfumes even today the bee bottle atomizer is used for the majority of Guerlain's feminine EDT and EDP.

Calandre Paco Rabanne (1969) 

Paco Rabanne's concept for this perfume bottle was sex in a a car. Dinard responded that it's uncomfortable to have sex in a small car. Eventually they settled on a car that would be big enough- the Rolls-Royce. Then they needed something to symbolise the Rolls-Royce, not the logo, not the door but the radiator grill enclosure at the front of the cars. Calandre means the radiator grill in French and yes I'm fully aware of all the possible  innuendos in what I've just written- cars that are penis extensions etc! Dinard's minimalist design was pioneering because it was the first example of electroplating, a thin layer of metal covered a plastic grid. Personally I would have liked the bottle to show the distinctive grill like in this hip flask.

Opium Yves Saint-Laurent (1977)

Yves Saint Laurent summoned Pierre Dinard to Marrakesh. Once he arrived, Laurent declared that he wanted to make a perfume inspired by the East. When Dinard asked him what the East was for him, he replied ' "It’s fireworks....If you do not see it press your closed eyes with your fingers and stop when you feel bad.'" Dinard tried this and saw yellow-red-violet spots floating in front of his eyes. He used these colours for the box. The bottle was inspired by Japanese inro boxes used by Samurai for keeping spices, salt, herbs and opium. In Dinard's original design he named the perfume 'Ichi.' However Laurent preferred the name Opium. Dinard's work influenced the final concept and advertising of Opium. Since the 70's the bottle has evolved into a simpler design but the colours remain the same.

POISON Dior (1985)

Dior wanted to recreate the success of controversial perfumes such as Yves Saint Laurent's Opium and Revlon's Scandal. They had even obtained the licence for the name Poison almost 3 years before working on the actual scent. Bill Slater (senior vice president / general manager of  Dior NY ) explains that they were '"looking for something to shock the consumer... the name is provocative and it stops the customer, each year it becomes more difficult to attract the public's attention."' Dior Perfumes marketed Poison as  'a new temptation, a new seduction, a new emotion' essentially like forbidden fruit worn by the 'adventurous.' The bottle has a crystal stopper and is shaped like an apple, evoking the poisoned apple given to Snow White and the apple Eve ate from the tree of knowledge that poisoned Eve and Adam's paradise. Instead of  red for the apple they chose an amethyst purple because it was 'bold, rich and different' along with a emerald green box. The precise colours of the bottle and packaging were chosen after a miscalculation while developing a roll of the promotional film.  Dior Poison won a Fifi Award for the Best Luxury Perfume of the Year in 1987. Since it's release Dior Poison has spawned new generations of perfumes such as Hypnotic Poison, Pure Poison, Poison Girl, Tendre Poison and Poison Extrait de Parfum. 

Boucheron (1988)

In 1988 the highly prestigious French jewellery company Boucheron (whose clients have ranged from Tsar Nicolas II to Nicole Kidman) wanted to launch their own perfume. The bottle is made from rock crystal and is shaped like a ring, with a dip in the centre to create a ring band and a sapphire blue 'jewel' for the perfume cap. This was a unintentional but genius marketing strategy because many of their customers flocked to the store in Place Vendrome to purchase the actual jewel that matched the bottle. So Boucheron hastily created a matching ring.The bottle fits snugly in the hand. As the 'perfume jewel' became popular they later designed another perfume in the shape of a jewel- the Boucheron Jaipur bracelet.

Eternity Calvin Klein: (1988)

This bottle was designed by Dinard for Kelly Rector, Calvin Klein's bride and design assistant. Klein was inspired by a ring he had bought for Kelly at auction, it was the same ring that Prince Edward had given to Wallis Simpson. The ring was engraved with the word 'Eternity.' The scent was specifically created for the wedding and the theme of eternal love embodied by the familiar wedding vow " till death do us part" symbolising eternal values of loyalty, love, family and peace. Dinard went with a religious motif, with the stopper based on a cross design. The fragrance  won the Most Successful Women’s Fragrance Award at the 1989 FiFi Awards.

Samara Guerlain (1989)

Samsara comes from Sanskrit and in both Hinduism and Buddhism it means the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. According to Guerlain 'Samsara is a symbol of harmony, of absolute osmosis between a woman and her perfume. It is a spiritual voyage leading to serenity and inner contemplation.'  Samsura is a floral oriental scent and the bottle design reflects this. Granai was inspired by a statue in the Guimet Museum in Paris. It was a statue of a Khmer dancer sitting with her hands folded in offering, symbolising plenitude and femininity. From her posture and hat he created a rough silhouette that became the shape of the bottle.  He chose the colour red for it's spiritual importance in the Far East. Allegedly this perfume was made especially for a woman who fascinated Jean Paul Guerlain and it took eleven years to perfect before he was properly satisfied and then he presented it to her. Awww...How romantic!

Galop d’Hermes (2015)

In 2015 Christina Nagel the in house pefumer at Hermes wanted to update the Galop d'Hermes fragrance. She took her inspiration from Hermes leather cellars, a high-security library that houses every single Hermès leather the brand uses. It took a year and 111 versions to perfect the balance between the leather and rose scent. The bottle and packaging were influenced by the Hermes Le Carré scarf which features illustrations from Gianpaolo Pagni. It was the stirrup pattern that inspired the stirrup sketches on the boxes. The actual bottle consists of thirteen different pieces to create a stirrup-like shape that was beautiful as well as functional. Each bottle is supposedly polished by hand.

Friday, 18 August 2017

4 Beauty Products That I Don't Get The Hype

I realise that for some people, some of the products on the list below might be someone's Holy Grail/ Ride or Die / Couldn't Live Without On A Desert Island Especially if Bradley Cooper Was There Product which is fine. Don't stop. While I love the brands below and have bought other products from them that I love to death these were the ones I didn't like enough. 

Stila Lip Glaze
These are one of Stila's bestsellers and were included in Harper's Bazaar's Beauty Hot 100. I have this in Raspberry and the colour is really vibrant and the taste isn't too bad, I'd describe it as a mixture between raspberry ice cream and cherry drop sweets.

The reason why I dislike these Stila lipglazes is because the formula is too thick and too sticky. I know the stickiness helps to make them more long wearing but my lips almost stick together when I talk and it is just a sticky mess if it comes in contact with your hair (e.g. on a windy day.) I am also not a fan of the packaging. You have to twist the end so that it clicks and dispenses the product. This is supposed to give you the right amount of product, Stila tells you to " Twist the pen until it clicks 10 or more times until the glaze appears on the brush. For top-ups just click a few times." Ten clicks is actually a bit of a faff and I find it annoying. I remember Ruby and Millie had similar packaging for their lip glosses as well. Another complaint is that you get so little product just 2.4ml for such a high price of £15. These are so overpriced in my opinion.

Benefit Cosmetics Benetint
Bentint is a rose tinted liquid cheek and lip stain. It is one of Benefit Cosmetic's bestsellers and was originally made for an exotic dancer in the 1970's. This gives a natural looking flush on the cheeks and a pink colour to the lips but actually it isn't very pigmented. Benefit claim this is long wearing but it doesn't last all day and on the lips it doesn't last long after a drink or snack. In fact you could say that it doesn't really stain anything.The fact that it's not very pigmented or long lasting made me feel really underwhelmed by such a cult product. I think that this is incredibly overpriced at £25.50  for a product that doesn't even live up to it's claims. 

Nars Blush in Orgasm 
This is a nice blush but it's a bit over-rated. I'd describe the colour as mid pink with gold shimmer. The colour would suit many skin tones. It's also long wearing. My main gripe is that this has a lot of gold glitter in it so it can get really sparkly. I think I would rather spend my money on a dupe where the gold is more of a gleam rather than sparkly glitter.

Nuxe Huille Prodigieuse
This is the number one dry oil in French pharmacies and a global hit. Nuxe Huille Prodigieuse
does have a lot of good ingredients- it contains vitamin E as well as tsubaki oil, almond oil, camellia oil, borage oil, hazelnut oil, macadamia oil and argan oil. It is free from mineral oil and silicones. I like the fact that because it's a dry oil it is not as messy and it drys fairly quickly.

My main problem with this product is that it's so strongly scented it's basically an oily perfume. Because of this it reduces the amount of ways I can use this "multi-purpose" dry oil on my sensitive skin. It is too strongly perfumed to go anywhere near my face. I have used it on my elbows which has moisturised the dry skin and made it soft, but it doesn't beat the powers of The Body Shop Mango Body Butter which leaves my elbows soft and moisturised 24 hours later without having to top it up with more product. I have used this to try and massage my finger joints when I was suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury but found that I needed something thicker like a cream. For a shoulder massage this could work. On my hair I used this as a 10 minute hair mask before I washed my hair. It made the lengths and ends of my hair softer but they still felt dry. If it was fragrance-free or less fragranced it would be more useful. I do like the smell of magnolia and vanilla but it's overpowering and the scent verges on traditional granny perfume. Putting oil in a glass bottle is also not that practical in a bathroom environment either. 

Let me know what products had that didn't live up to the hype?

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