A colleague at work got me interested in monthly beauty boxes again and the one she recommended was Birchbox.

I previously subscribed to other beauty boxes, such as Glossybox, but discontinued since I realised 1) I have more than enough skincare and makeup to last me a lifetime, 2) I already get sample sized products from beauty companies from blogging and dermatology reps that my excuse for 'travel-sized' products became redundant and 3) The samples I was usually provided ended up unused and less loved compared to the HG products I already purchased.

But there are also good things about the monthly boxes such as 1) As technology evolves, so does skincare and makeup and it is always useful to discover new products, 2) Beauty boxes tend to give a mix of makeup and skincare and boxes such as Birchbox takes into account your personal preferences, and 3) Receiving a new mystery beauty box every month makes it feel like its Christmas all year round!

There were three things that lured me into trying out Birchbox for May 2017. Undoubtedly these included the beautiful marble printed box that also doubles up as a drawer, the full sized Spectrum Collections C06 Tulip Eye Contour Brush with a white handle and gorgeous rose gold ferrule, and also that they had an offer for another box free. Bargain!

Here's a run through of the individual products and my initial thoughts on them.



Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara RRP £18

This mascara has a jumbo fibre wand to add volume and thickness to lashes. I must say I am very impressed with this mascara. At first I was scared that the giant jumbo wand would smear my eyelids, but with a light hand, it avoids that, applies so easily and holds a curl on my stubborn straight lashes. This one's a winner for me!

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray RRP £19

I love this season-appropriate and trendy addition to the May Birchbox. Part dry shampoo and part texturiser, this sample travel-friendly size will save many holidays for lifted beachy hair.

Caudalie Vine Activ Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum RRP £36

This serum targets tiredness, stress and pollution. It contains an anti-cell burn-out complex to brighten dull skin and smooth fine lines.

Spectrum Collections Marbleous C06 Tulip Eye Contour Brush RRP £4.99

I love fluffy yet firm synthetic brushes for my eye contour and concealer. I think this brush will work for both. And I must say I am inlove with the rose gold ferrule!



Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in Fifty Shades RRP £14.49

This shimmery gunmetal grey smokey loose mineral eyeshadow is paraben-free. Disaster always strikes when I use loose pigmented powders so this will find another home.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics High Definition Powder RRP £27

This pale vanilla powder has a velvety finish. Its an excellent travel size for the mobile makeup bag for touch ups through the day. I am likely to apply this on my oily T-zone which are also my 'highlight' areas so the paler shade wouldn't be much of a problem.

Baija Paris Creme Moana in Fleur de Tiare RRP £15.90

I had a silent squeal when I read the label. This is what I would expect a Disney's 'Moana' inspired moisturiser to smell like - shea butter and coconut oil - to smoothen parched skin. Of course this is in no way related to the Disney film, maybe just a coincidence.

Elemis Hydra-Boost Day Cream RRP £39

Everyone loves Elemis. This day cream has hyaluronic acid to improve the skin's hydration and texture. I would actually apply this for the day and night after cleansing. It makes your skin feel so smooth, I love it.

Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton RRP £23.50

Here's a skin smoothing body scrub that contains Arctic cotton for its moisturising properties. I would recommend limiting body scrubs to twice a week and following with moisturisers to avoid harsh effects on the skin.

ModelCo Eye Define Crayon Liner RRP £11

I am always on the look out for a HG eyeliner as despite these many years of beauty blogging, I still have not found it. ModelCo's offering is a twist-up pencil, so sharpening is not required. The formula is water-resistant but not as smudge or budge-proof as it claims. The formula isn't as creamy as one would hope, so there is a bit of tugging on application. It deposits a rich black matte colour that lasts long, with a thin tip that works well for my Asian eyelids.

Overall, while there are still some products I feel may go unloved from this set, I've enjoyed trying out my new products and my subscription will continue (for now). I look forward to the Birchbox in June!

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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08/06/2017

Trying Out Birchbox

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams & Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams & Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

We are so excited to share with you the new Sleek Makeup shades for the spring and summer.

Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter palette review swatches
Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

Following the unicorn highlighter trend, the Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter palette is full of duochrome shades for your highlighting needs. There are 3 cream highlighters in this palette: cream with green glitters, cream with blue glitters, and a gold pink duochrome. There are also two powder highlighters: a shimmery gold and a purple with pink-purple glitters (reminiscent of the Becca Prismatic Amethyst Shimmering Skin Perfector highlighter. I think the shades make for good eyelid shades, but as for cheekbone highlighters, it would take a bit of courage to pull these off. They do easily smudge off so use a setting spray and refrain from touching your face when you wear this.

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose

Combining the 90's revival metallic lip and the current liquid lipstick trend are Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams. The three new shades swatched are Roman Copper (a frosty red-tinged shimmery amber), Volcanic (a frosty muted purple rose), and Rusted Rose (a frosty pink rose). The latter two could be used as lip toppers. They apply like normal liquid lipsticks - dry and long wearing. Make sure to use lip balm underneath for extra comfort.

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

Overall we are impressed by these new shade additions to the Sleek Makeup range. Definitely try the affordable metallic lip creams if you'd like to dip into the metallic lip trend.

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog


*Press sample. All views are my own.

27/04/2017

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams & Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub Review
Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub
Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub Review
Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub* is a moisturising hydrating exfoliating scrub. It was awarded the Best Body Scrub in the Natural Health Awards 2016 -, and rightly so!

This Vegan-friendly scrub is composed of poppy seeds and Fairtrade sugar cane, on a base of moisturising virgin coconut and cocoa bean butter. It smells absolutely delicious and feels like a treat to the skin. I would apply this as moisturising alternative to usual soaps in the shower. Pat dry and apply your moisturiser of choice for super soft skin.

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub is 100% natural and kind to the environment. It does not contain harmful plastic microbeads therefore avoiding sea and ocean pollution.

Overall I do love Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub (£25). It can be purchased online from Odylique website and from one of my favourites - Feelunique. I would recommend this anyone who loves coconut scented body products. It also works well for those who have dry or sensitive skin who need to exfoliate their skin prior to applying fake tans.

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog
*Press sample. All views are my own.

17/04/2017

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub

MAC Next To Nothing Foundation & Powder Review Swatches NC30
MAC Next To Nothing Foundation & Powder Review Swatches

The selfie generation has inspired MAC's latest line of face bases, notably MAC Next To Nothing Powder and Foundation. Aimed at giving you an Instagram-worthy complexion, I eagerly tubed my way to my nearest MAC store at St Pancras Station to find my perfect shade.

As a MAC veteran, I know my usual foundation colours: NC25-30, C3 or Medium Plus. I'm glad I personally went to swatch these as the shades seem to vary quite a bit.

MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour Foundation. This is a sheer runny tint-like formula that gives a dewy shiny look, but with a comfortable non-sticky natural finish. It feels weightless on the skin. You will still need to prep with moisturiser beforehand as unexpectedly, it is not particularly moisturising. I expected to walk away with Medium Plus, but the shades leaned a bit orange so I came away with Medium instead. It doesn't cover much in the way of blemishes and so its probably one to use on good-skin-days. I've swatched it below compared to MAC Pro Longwear NC25, and you can tell its a lot darker, shinier and sheerer.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation NC25 & MAC Next to Nothing Foundation Medium Review Swatches
MAC Pro Longwear Foundation NC25 & MAC Next to Nothing Foundation Medium

MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches NC30
MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches

MAC Next To Nothing Powder Pressed.
This is a sheer to medium coverage powder with a soft light-reflective sheen. If you look closely, you can see fine sparkles reminiscent of the Revlon Photoready Foundation. I would liken this to a skin-toned MAC Beauty Powder. I've picked out the shade in Medium Plus as Medium looked too ashy. It looks great with foundation, but alone you can tell on swatches below compared to MAC NC41 Studio Fix Powder Plus that it can still lean a bit cool-toned. It lasts quite well for a sheer powder, about three hours before I need a top up. It adds a beautiful glow to the skin and I do love it.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC41 & MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC41 & MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches

Overall, I recommend MAC Next To Nothing Powder as it adds something new to my collection. Most of my face powders are quite matte so a face base with a subtle glowy sheen is welcomed. MAC Next To Nothing Foundation on the otherhand is sheer much like a tinted non-moisturiser and its glowy effects are similar to one of my favourite primers, Laura Mercier Tinted moisturiser SPF 20, but without the SPF; so its something that's nice to have but not essential to my personal collection.

Have you tried MAC Next To Nothing Powder or Foundation? 
Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

02/04/2017

MAC Next To Nothing Powder & Foundation

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Stockholm), MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (Back In Vogue), Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor (Seduction), Sleek Makeup Matte Me Lip Gloss (Birthday Suit), Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (Beeper), Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick (Dusty Rose), Sephora Cream Lip Stain (#13), NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick (Soft Spoken), Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Lolita)
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Stockholm), MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (Back In Vogue), Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor (Seduction), Sleek Makeup Matte Me Lip Gloss (Birthday Suit), Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (Beeper), Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick (Dusty Rose), Sephora Cream Lip Stain (#13 Marvellous Mauve), NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick (Soft Spoken), Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Lolita)

Over the last year liquid lipsticks have taken the beauty world by storm and transformed matte lipsticks altogether. In the search for the perfect wearable nude lip (not the concealer lips variety), I've picked up a few from different brands and I wanted to share my thoughts with you on the different formulas. My lips are naturally a pink toned so you would find some of these 'nude' shades are pink-toned too. Note though that there is quality variability between colours of a certain make but these reviews are my thoughts on these particular lippies.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Stockholm). If you want a smooth comfortable matte lip cream on a drugstore budget and don't mind reapplying every so often - this one is for you. This brand started the matte lip cream trend, years before it actually took off. They come in several shades and are easily available worldwide. NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams have a comfortable soft mousse-like texture and smell of sweet vanilla cake. The formula takes a few minutes to dry, rubs off quite easily, and doesn't last long. Stockholm itself is a pale peachy pink that looks good on my NC30 skin.

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (Back In Vogue). If you are a MAC-aholic and love to 'collect them all' and are patient enough to exfoliate and moisturise your lips beforehand - this one is for you. This range dries fast and lasts long on the lips. They stay put! However they are quite drying and give that pruney shrink-wrap look and feel to the lips. I make sure to exfoliate and apply a generous layer of lip balm before applying this. The darker shades are generally wonderful and are more forgiving to imperfections than paler ones. Back In Vogue itself is a bright light coral that leans more to the unforgiving side.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor (Seduction). If you are usually into balms and lip glosses and are new to the matte lip - you will probably like this one (its not matte and feels very comfortable). This liquid lipstick is a misnomer as it does not dry down to a matte at all, rather it remains smooth and creamy, almost gloss-like. It smells like caramel and it is very comfortable to wear. This is something I like to wear in the summer. It rubs off easily and doesn't last long. The darker shades apply more streaky but Seduction is just perfect. It is a nude with a hint of peach.

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Lip Cream (Birthday Suit)*. If you want a matte liquid lipstick with a drugstore budget - this one is for you! I think this is one of the best drugstore liquid lipstick lines out there. It dries fast to a matte texture and feels almost weightless! It lasts long on the lips and stays put. Like most liquid lipsticks however, you need to exfoliate and moisturise. Birthday Suit looks peachy in the tube but dries to a nude pink that's my perfect MLBB shade. I would apply a thin layer to avoid it feeling like cement when it dries on the lips.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (Beeper). If you are an expert at liquid lipsticks and want your lipstick to last through the whole day - this one is for you. This liquid lipstick takes the longest to dry of all of them, but once it sets it stays put and hardly smudges (it even stains). It applies with a thin runny texture. I find it could be the least comfortable of them as it is quite drying, settles in lip lines and can make the lips flake, even with exfoliating and a standard layer of lip balm. Beeper looks like a peachy nude in the tube but it dries to a much darker brown with a hint of pink. I prefer applying lip balm over this too to make the lips feel more comfortable. It's definitely not my favourite of the bunch.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Stockholm), MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (Back In Vogue), Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor (Seduction), Sleek Makeup Matte Me Lip Gloss (Birthday Suit), Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (Beeper), Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick (Dusty Rose), Sephora Cream Lip Stain (#13 Marvellous Mauve), NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick (Soft Spoken), Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Lolita) Swatches
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Stockholm), MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (Back In Vogue), Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor (Seduction), Sleek Makeup Matte Me Lip Cream (Birthday Suit), Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (Beeper), Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick (Dusty Rose), Sephora Cream Lip Stain (#13 Marvellous Mauve), NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick (Soft Spoken), Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Lolita) Swatches

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick (Dusty Rose). If you love ABH and are looking for a moderately comfortable-to-wear liquid lipstick - this one is for you. This formula generally applies evenly and smoothly. It takes a few minutes to dry. Once dried down, it doesn't stick as long as Colourpop's and may transfer if rubbed. The colour is almost true to its shade in the tube. It is a medium toned mauve with a smidgen of brown. I love this colour.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain (#13 Marvelous Mauve). If you love the comfortable NYX Matte Lip Creams but want something that actually dries matte and gives you a cushiony feel - this one is for you. This formula feels a little like the NYX Matte Lip Creams with a soft mousse formula, but after a few minutes it dries to an opaque matte finish. It does transfer a little bit if rubbed, but the comfort makes up for it. Marvelous Mauve is a beautiful mauve pink that brings me compliments (even from strangers). That's saying something!

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick (Soft Spoken). If you like the NYX Matte Lip Creams but are looking for other shades of a similar formula - this one is for you. This formula feels velvety on the lips and does not dry down completely - similar to the NYX Matte Lip Creams above. It smudges off fairly easily. It's very comfortable on the lips and it is something I can use at work. Soft spoken is a red-toned nude.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Lolita). If you like the ABH liquid lipsticks but want a formula that lasts a bit longer - this one is for you. This formula dries pretty fast, lasts long on the lips and hardly smudges. This is what you would expect from a "matte liquid lipstick". It can accentuate dry patches and lip lines. It dries out the lips so make sure to use lip balm beforehand. Lolita is a deep mauve with pink tones on my skin.

So which is the best? 
It's hard to pick out favourites as there is a lipstick formula for every person and occasion, but I suppose the ones I reach out the most for are Sleek Makeup's Matte Me Lip Cream (for everyday work-safe wear), Sephora Cream Lip Stain (for days when I want a little pick me up) and Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (for casual weekends).

It's taken a while to compile this post so I hope this has been useful. 

Have you tried liquid lipsticks and which is your favourite brand? 

Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

*Press sample. All views are my own.

The Best Liquid Lipstick Formula?

DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten System Review
DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten System

I have recently been given the opportunity to review this award winning DermaTx Microdermabrasion System*. You can choose one of three creams with each a different purpose: Brighten to even the skintone, Clarify containing 2% salicylic acid for acne-prone oily skin, and Rejuvenate with antioxidants for normal to sensitive skin. I chose Brighten which contains SabiWhite, to correct hyperpigmented freckles and uneven skin tone, a result of years of sun exposure.

DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten Cream is a mild exfoliant with tiny aluminium oxide crystals. It contains SabiWhite (tetrahydrocurcumin), an extract derived from turmeric used to bleach and de-pigment the skin. See this article for further information on SabiWhite. This cream also contains Vitamin A that has many beneficial effects on the skin.

This microdermabrasion set also contains the DermaTx Facial Tool that provides small vibrating micro-pulses. At first I was a little let down as I was expecting a rotating motion as opposed to an electric toothbrush-like action, but I realise the massaging vibrating motion gently recruits blood and growth factors to improve the skin texture. It has two interchangeable heads: one cleansing brush head and one exfoliating foam (spongy) head. These both act to improve the microdermabrasion process.

This system hasn't irritated my skin with a twice weekly use and helps to remove dry dead skin cells at the surface aiding the skin's renewal process. My skin instantly feels smoother and brighter, although it is perhaps too early to tell whether my freckles have lightened.

I would recommend using this at night, after firstly cleansing the skin with a mild cleansing milk. For daytime it is important to use sunscreen to protect newly exposed skin.

If you have acne or open broken skin, I would advise to stay away from this as the grains may aggravate and worsen the skin. I would also not recommend using daily use as constant friction may paradoxically thicken the skin (as its normal protective response).

This set requires two AA batteries and is perfect for traveling and jet-setting individuals.

DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten Cream Review
DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten Cream
DermaTx Facial Tool Review
DermaTx Facial Tool
DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten System Review
DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten System
 
Overall I do enjoy using this DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten System. This set is available from at £70, which is cheaper than purchasing the DermaTx Brighten Microdermabrasion Cream (£39) and DermaTx Facial Tool (£40) sold separately. Although admittedly not an essential to my skincare routine, I would recommend it for those who enjoy exfoliating and as a gentler alternative to more expensive professional-grade microdermabrasion treatments in salons.

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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*Press sample. All views are my own.

11/03/2017

DermaTx Microdermabrasion Brighten System

TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Nourishing Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask Review
TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Nourishing Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask

As my hair grows longer and longer, I have found 'taming' it can become and chore and with such a busy work schedule clean hair can sometimes be a luxury... I do have dry hair but what I despise more than anything is  greasy roots and limp hair - which is how things can get it if if not managed to fit in my hour ritual of washing blow drying and straightening.

On first impressions I liked the sleek packaging and although the TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Shampoo had only 300mls, I found I needed a much smaller amount in comparison to other shampoos and conditioner as it was very thick. On my first trial I found the smell to be overpowering but I now realise this is because I used a far too large amount and now in subsequent washes using a smaller amount gives a nice fragrance. Be careful - it probably is a 'marmite' love/hate scent and I quite liked it but my aunt hated it!

Now onto the best part. I found this TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Shampoo and Conditioner product really nourished my hair and kept it in good condition for far longer than any other product I've tried ... I'm talking days... I have always used drugstore brand products but this has been far superior and I don't think I'll ever go back after seeing such a remarkable difference.

The TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Nourishing Mask is also a great addition and good to use once in a while to give your hair a boost but not essential. It's good to use before important events or when your hair is drier than normal.

Overall I would definitely repurchase and can see myself repeatedly doing so for the near future. I am keen to try others in the range too! There is also a larger 750ml size of the TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner if you're as keen as I am!

I would rate these products 10/10

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Shivanee
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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*Press sample. All views are my own.

19/02/2017

Catwalk by TIGI Oatmeal and Honey Haircare Review - My New Favourites

MAC Powerhouse Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger Lipstick, NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, MAC Von Teese Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick Review Swatches
MAC Powerhouse Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger Lipstick, NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, MAC Von Teese Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick

Orange-toned red lipsticks flatter warm-toned skin.

If your skin looks better in gold jewellery than silver, in yellow or orangey-red clothing than blues, and if you tend to tan under the sun without burning, warm red-orange lipsticks may be the right reds for you.

My NC25 to NC30 skin falls in the warm spectrum and these lipsticks flatter my skin colour overall.

However, be warned. Make sure your pearly whites are pearly white, otherwise go for neutral or more blue-tinged tones to flatter yellow teeth.

MAC Powerhouse Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger Lipstick, NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, MAC Von Teese Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick Review Swatches
MAC Powerhouse Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger Lipstick, NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, MAC Von Teese Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick

MAC Powerhouse Lipstick (Discontinued)

This is one of my earliest purchases from MAC. MAC Powerhouse Lipstick is a bright orange red with a tinge of pink compared to the rest. It has an awesome amplified formula that lasts ages on the lips.

MAC Lady Danger Lipstick

If you're a fan of the 1920's retro look, MAC Lady Danger Lipstick should be in your arsenal. It is a cult fave shade in the MAC range. It is a fiery orange red with a matte finish. MAC has released a matching Shadescent that smells of a gorgeous woody floriental. You should check it out!

NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Next is cult fave NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil.It is an orange red that appears more matte and a lil more orange than MAC Lady Danger Lipstick. They are close dupes though.

MAC Von Teese Lipstick (LE)

Red lip enthusiast Dita Von Teese released her red lipstick MAC Von Teese Lipstick in a previous collection. It is a bright red that leans a little pink compared to the rest swatched. It comes in a matte formula. Love it.

MAC Port Red Lipstick (LE)

Now to the frosty reds, MAC Port Red Lipstick is a bright red with an red orange frost. Its an absolutely gorgeous colour and was unfortunately limited edition.

MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Lipstick (LE)

Rihanna previously collaborated with MAC to release her MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Lipstick. It is a limited edition shade that is another frosty red that leans more orange than MAC Port Red Lipstick above. Truly gorgeous colour.

MAC Powerhouse Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger Lipstick, NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, MAC Von Teese Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick Review Swatches
MAC Powerhouse Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger Lipstick, NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, MAC Von Teese Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick, MAC Port Red Lipstick
Overall if I had to pick favourites, I would choose NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil and MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Lipstick
Which one do YOU like the most?

Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

*Press sample. All views are my own.

14/02/2017

My Red-Orange Lipsticks from NARS & MAC

Jolen Cream Bleach Review
Jolen Cream Bleach Review

Way back before Cara De Levigne et al brought back the dark brow trend, Jolen used to be my brows' best friend.

I bleached my brows at home three or four times a year to match my hair dye of choice for a more natural look. Apart from brows it also works on other body hairs, notably moustaches and sideburns if you were the anti-epilating/anti-waxing type.

Jolen Cream Bleach comes in two ingredients: a bleaching cream and an accelerator powder. The kit also contains a spatula and a mixing cup (newer packs).

How to use:

1. Wash the area to be treated with soap and water and pat dry.

2. With the spatula provided, add and mix two parts bleaching cream to one part accelerator powder in the mixing cup.

3. Make sure the powder is properly mixed in the solution to avoid fall-out.

4. Apply to the area treated. You can use the spatula provided or an old mascara brush/spoolie brush (for eyebrows).

5. Leave on for a few minutes. The longer you leave it, the lighter the hair would get.

For dark asian eyebrows, experience taught me to leave it on for approximately 5-6 minutes for my perfect brow shade. If its your first time and for a more controlled brightening, you can apply it at 45-second to 1 minute intervals. Note down the time it took for future reference.

For facial hair, Jolen advises to use for 10 minutes to make hair appear invisible.

Take care not to get the product into your eyes. The cream is quite thick if mixed properly. If this happens rinse immediately and see your GP.

6. Wipe off with a wet towel, I like to use tissues dampened in cold water to provide a cooling effect.

7. Enjoy your bleached hair!

Before your first use of Jolen, like all treatments, I would recommend doing a test dose to ensure it doesn't sting your skin.

Honestly I haven't tried other bleaching creams as I've been so happy with Jolen Cream Bleach.

Jolen Cream Bleach Review
Jolen Cream Bleach Review

Overall I highly recommend Jolen Cream Bleach for the 'tache and brows and I would repurchase when I run out (like I have in the past).

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

13/02/2017

Jolen Cream Bleach

MAC, Chanel, Rimmel Red Lipstick Swatches Review

It's no secret that I'm a lippie addict. I have enough lipsticks to last a couple of lifetimes and after watching videos on minimalism... I've realised that perhaps its time to choose my favourites and cut down. Over the next few weeks I'll share with you snippets of swatches of my collection. Here are swatches of my neutral red lipsticks (neither too orange nor too pink-based) from MAC, Chanel and drugstore Rimmel, featured on my NC25 to NC30 skin. Enjoy!


MAC, Chanel, Rimmel Red Lipstick Swatches Review
MAC Hot Tahiti Lipstick, MAC Salon Rouge Lipstick, MAC Charmed I'm Sure Lipstick, MAC Ronnie Red Lipstick, Chanel La Fascinante Lipstick, Rimmel Retro Red Lipstick Swatches on NC25 to NC30 Skin

MAC Hot Tahiti Lipstick

As much as I love to look at bright red lipsticks, its the sheer ones I tend to go for on a daily regular-day basis. MAC Hot Tahiti Lipstick is a pinky-brown red with a sheer finish. This is one of my favourite every-day work-safe reds that also moisturises the lips. This is a clear winner from me!

MAC Salon Rouge Lipstick (LE)

MAC Salon Rouge Lipstick is a rich cool red in a matte finish. It is limited edition from the previous MAC Cosmetics Heirloom Collection. Fortunately it is quite dupe-able as you can see in the swatches. It is a little lighter than MAC MAC Red Lipstick (permanent) It is long-lasting and leaves a lip stain.

MAC Charmed I'm Sure Lipstick (LE)

MAC Charmed I'm Sure Lipstick is a medium-toned blue-toned red in a creamy opaque matte finish. It is limited edition from the MAC and Marilyn Monroe Collection. It is a bit lighter in tone than MAC Salon Rouge lipstick and more creamy than MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick.

MAC Ronnie Red Lipstick (LE)

MAC Ronnie Red Lipstick is a beautiful blue-tinged red in a comfortable creamy matte finish from the MAC Archies Girls Collection. It is long-wearing and leaves a lip stain. A super formula!

Chanel La Fascinante Lipstick

Chanel La Fascinante Lipstick is a blue-based red with a tinge of brown. It comes in a semi-matte velvety finish. The staying power is only so so, but it feels great on the lips and feels quite forgiving on chapped ones too. It comes from the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour Collection.

Rimmel Retro Red Lipstick

Rimmel lipsticks never cease to amaze me. Affordable, well-pigmented and long-lasting. What else could you ask for? Rimmel Retro Red Lipstick is a beautiful deep plummy red in a creamy matte finish. It works as well as the others above and would be a good drugstore alternative to save a few pennies!

MAC, Chanel, Rimmel Red Lipstick Swatches Review

I'm still struggling to choose my favourites. MAC Hot Tahiti Lipstick aside, they all look quite similar so its a battle of the finishes. Have you tried any of the lipsticks above? Let me know your thoughts!

Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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12/02/2017

My True Red Lipsticks from MAC, Chanel, Rimmel

Jivesse Collagen Gold Mask Review
Jivesse Collagen Gold Mask

It's no secret that sheet masks are my new guilty pleasure so when I was contacted to see if I would like to review a new mask on the market I was definitely quick to reply! I love the hydration it gives as my skin is extremely dry.

The Jivesse Collagen Gold Mask is an anti-ageing mask infused with gold and peptides which boast to leave your skin more youthful through evening skin tone, improving texture and softening the appearance of fine lines. whilst hydrating and helping the skin to retain moisture. This beautiful mask comes with visible golf leaf flecks that add to its wow factor. Other peptides include aloe barbadenis leaf juice, collagen, hyaluronic acid amongst others all working to soften fine lines and hydrate the skin.

This mask is definitely on the luxurious end costing £125 for 5 masks. On using it I did notice lines under my eyes and mouth were definitely softened and my makeup went on very smoothly but I have to say my reptilian skin did feel more hydrated but not as much as other facial masks have left my skin feeling - and at a much lower price.

I would definitely recommend trying this mask if you have more aged skin to use before attending an important event when you want your skin and makeup to be flawless. The effects last over 12 hours. I think personally it wont be something I will be repurchasing,

These masks along with other Jivesse products are available from their website or the prestigious John Bell & Croyden pharmacy.

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Shivanee
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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Jivesse Marine Collagen Cream

*Press sample. All views are my own.

06/02/2017

Jivesse Collagen Gold Mask

Smith and Cult The Graduate Nail Polish Review Swatches
Smith and Cult The Graduate Nail Polish Review Swatches

The Graduate is my first foray into Smith and Cult products and these are my first impressions.

Smith and Cult The Graduate Nail Polish is a greige taupe in a creamy finish. It is a neutral ie. work-appropriate, formal events appropriate and graduation-perfect!

It comes in an awkwardly large artistic container. The top is artistically asymmetrical, massively round with a disproportionately tiny brush in the middle.

But that aside... the formula is lovely! It is opaque in two coats and auto-levels itself to provide an even coverage. Compared to my beloved Essie, the formula is much longer lasting and chip-resistant (It lasted a whole 7 days during my travels to Marrakech, camel-rides and all!). It is not so easily stained and does not change in colour as the days go by.

Smith and Cult The Graduate Nail Polish Review Swatches
Smith and Cult The Graduate Nail Polish Review Swatches
Overall I am in love with this colour and formula and I would repurchase when I run out. I'm looking forward to trying a few more shades. I can sense my beloved Essie cubes quivering with fear of being ousted from their spot...

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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*Press sample. All views are my own.

28/01/2017

Smith and Cult The Graduate Nail Polish

By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur Review Swatches Fig Fiction
By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur

By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur is a luxurious lip balm range by French makeup artist Terry de Gunzburg.

I have it in the shade Fig Fiction which is a sheer red-tinted plum for a romantic just-bitten lip. It quickly fixes chapped lips and provides a lightly glossed pout that smells of roses!

For pot-based products I advocate the use of brushes or disposable wands as opposed to the fingertips to avoid double dipping and depositing germs to incubate in the product. Flat synthetic brushes are excellent for lip balm applicators, in particular, the MAC 242 brush is a perfect match.

By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur Review Swatches Fig Fiction
By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur Fig Fiction

Compared to my favourite drugstore balms, Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue Lip Balm and Wet 'n' Wild Jumbo Juicy Flavored Lip Balm, By Terry Baume de Rose feels so much more luxurious and works faster to smoothen the lips. It feels creamy and non-sticky. It's excellent as a base for lipsticks, especially drying ones like matte lip stains.

The only downside I find is the cost. It is £35 a pot, although Space NK occasionally puts this in the sale at a more affordable price.

By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur Review Swatches Fig Fiction
By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur

Overall I would recommend By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur to anyone looking to splurge on a high quality tinted lip balm. You won't regret it!

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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15/01/2017

By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur




I wanted to share with you two new items that I had been getting non-stop compliments for -

1. Lulu Guinness Chloe Clutch in Cassis

Lulu Guinness is a quirky brand I have been obsessesed with since I first found about them over a year ago. They have amazing lipstick inspired products - what more can a makeup obsessed girl want!?

When I saw this beautiful clutch was half price I just had to get one for myself. It is a stunning pinky purple box clutch with a golden lipstick clasp - perfect for dinners or a night out.

2. Topshop 'Krazy' pointed Floral boots

These gorgeous boots are only £10 (I actually purchased them for £18 - but you win some and you lose some..) and I have gotten non-stop compliments for them. They are very comfortable and with such a good price you really cannot go wrong.

They are different to any other boots in my collection and are a great addition to plain or neutral outfit

What were your top sale picks?


Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

 Shivanee
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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Cassis Chloe Clutch

09/01/2017

Lulu Guinness Clutch and Floral Boots - My Top Sale picks

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium Review
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium Review

After much deliberation I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium. It is probably one of the most raved about contour powders in the beauty industry currently and once I had managed to demo the buttery softness of the powder at the Beauty Bay counter at BeautyCon London 2016 I just knew I had to get my hands on one myself!

It is a very luxurious powder and although small the shade it perfect grey/brown for that real shadow contour. I have tried to search far and wide for a dupe but nothing comes close in my opinion. Not being someone with naturally gifted chiseled cheekbones - this product really does the trick!

A little definitely goes a long way so careful to not go overboard as it can definitely leave you looking muddy if you're not careful but oh my this is definitely a game changer product.

I am MAC NC 42-44.  I am only wearing concealer and the sculpting powder to really show you guys how this products wears.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium Review on NC42 NC44 Skin
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium on NC42 NC44 Skin

Don't just take my word for it - try it for yourself!

Have you tried it? Leave a comment below!

Shivanee
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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06/01/2017

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium

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