Let's catch up!

Whoops! It’s been such a long time! What have I been up to?

Well here are some highlights:

Hair

I have lightened my hair and now feel like myself again. Albeit a fake, peroxide version.

I have also dipped my toe into the world of keratin treatments and had Kerastraight applied on Wednesday. This is one of the formaldehyde free versions and can be used on very damaged/coloured hair. That would be me.

I am currently sporting a very flat hairstyle as I have to wait 48 hours until I can wash it out. This straight hair malarkey really does highlight how much of a pin head I have. However, it’s a small price to pay in the quest to eliminate frizz.

Clothes

I have been shopping. Quite a lot actually.


This Topshop jumper jumped out at me in the Mall of the Emirates store. I love an immature sweat and especially when it comes in light grey.

I also have been to Zara so much that the cashier said “welcome back” to me during my last visit. Needless to say I haven’t been back since. One of the best purchases was a cape. No, I am not joking. It’s a full on winter cape coat. I am preparing myself for a trip to New York in 2015 and possibly for the one day of genuine winter in Dubai in December.

Makeup

I am having a bit of a MAC Renaissance. That brand will never stop pulling me in and there is a Cremeblend blush that I cannot stop wearing.  It’s called So Sweet, So Easy



When I saw it at the stand I wasn’t sure but swatched on the skin it gives that light pretty bloom. For a cream blush it also has decent staying power – and it is not at all sticky. I think Something Special will be next.


Last but not least is my latest lipstick obsession – NARSAudacious lipstick in Charlotte. Wow Wow Wow.


This is described as Oxblood burgundy and translates as a deep berry hue when worn. Of course it’s similar to Empress, the Hourglass stain that I blogged about recently, but definitely more wearable both in terms of it being a slightly less vamp-centric shade but also in formula as it doesn't pull as much moisture from the lips.

Speaking of formula, I have some thoughts on that. 

So the Audacious line is intensely creamy. This is well known. I guess you can look at this in one of two ways: yes it makes colours feel nourishing when applied but it also can work against you. There is a lot of slippage, it’s difficult to apply without a brush and almost impossible to keep in place without a liner. They are very nice and all but in reviewing the marketplace I think I might prefer Estee Lauder Lipstick Envy, By Terry Rouge Terrybly or a good ole Amplified/Satin from MAC.

Despite my preferences I do like the fact that this feels lightweight and gently fades over a couple of hours to a nice looking stain. Charlotte has definitely warmed me up to giving Audacious another try.

I’d be interested to hear what you think of these lipsticks. All I have heard is positive things so I feel like I am not "getting it" when I say that although nice, they don't seem super-fantastic-amazing-fabulous! :) 

Hope you have all been well 
x

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Empress

Blimey!

I really like this – this being the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Empress.



I bought this shade months ago after being inspired by a memory in a Kevyn Aucoin book of a girl in dark lips with glossy skin and lids. It arrived and I kept it in the packaging out of fear, waiting until I grew a pair and felt confident to wear it out.

Well, it happened. I seemingly did in fact grow a pair and today sported this intense aubergine shade.

I love the Opaque Rouge’s. I love the slim packaging (it feels well-designed as it makes the applicator easy to control) and all of the colours I have collected (Muse, Riviera and now Empress) have worked out.

Is it drying? Abso-friggin-lutely. It's best to apply on bare lips in order to ensure a strong product bond and as a result there is nothing to act as a barrier and protect. My lips will definitely be treated to a drenching in La Mer lip balm tonight.

Is it long-lasting? Yes and no. Yes the product will stick to your lips for hours but should you excessively down coffee/water (as I do) the inner lip area will start to fade and you will be left with an urgent need to reapply.

Does it emphasise your lips? Yes and that means that all other makeup should be muted (IMO) in order to maximize the focus. As an aside this also means that those of us suffering with a case of the resting bitch face need to turn that frown upside down because this colour really highlights a sourpuss mood.

Would I recommend it? Yes! Now this is quite vamp-tastic but I oddly find this a lot easier to wear out than a classic red. 



Face: Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Nude (trying to use it up)
Concealer: MUFE Full Cover in 6
Eye base: Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base
Cheeks: Clinique Chubby Stick in Amp’d up Apple
Eyeshadow: Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes palette (two matte shadows from the top row)
Eyeliner: MUFE Aqua Black Waterproof
Mascara: MUFE Smoky Lash
Lips: Hourglass Empress – Link! (the sunlight doesn't give an accurrate representation of colour here...it's a tad darker)
Makeup bag: H&M

I have to say it’s been exciting to perk up a Tuesday with a bit of an experimentation in colour J

What do you think of this type of shade? Something you would wear/are wearing?

Like but don't love

The premise of this post is to chat about products I have purchased recently that although nice to look at and perhaps use would definitely not qualify for a repurchase or a recommendation.

That’s the idea behind it anyway. Think of it as a passive aggressive way of slagging something off. So let’s get started!

Estee Lauder Heat Wave



Did you know that this highlighter is currently retailing for £80 on eBay. Yes, you heard that right. £80! The person that buys that is a sandwich short of a picnic in my opinion because this highlighter, while pretty, is not worth that sort of cash.

I bought this after a mention from Michelline and was informed that although sold out worldwide this was currently in stock at many counters in the UAE – all you have to do is ask/hover over the sales assistant while they rifle through the drawer to make sure they don’t miss it.

Well I did was I was told and dutifully picked it up. It’s a stunner to look at – all glossy gold packaging containing a well-pigmented champagne gold highlighter. To the eye this is very appealing and I can see why people collect these summer releases from Lauder.

However, while I do think this is nice to look at it doesn’t “pop” on my skin. In fact it just looks like any other generic highlighter I have stuffed in my drawer. The champagne shade doesn’t really translate when applied and instead I get a brush full of gentle shine.

This does not therefore measure up to theBalm’s Mary-LouManizer and Kevyn Aucoin’s Celestial powder (in Candlelight). In my opinion those two knock this out of the park. Like, way, way out of the park!

Christian Louboutin nail polish in Tres Decollete

True story: Laura captured the moment I paid a whopping amount for a singular nail polish in Level Shoe District (Dubai) on camera so she could retail-shame me forever more. She was horrified. I was excited.



I got the very me (AKA boring) colour – Tres Decollete. This is essentially a pale, baby pink and sits at the heart of The Nudes collection. When I examined the full colour range this was the only one that I really liked and the one that I knew I would be more likely to actually use up. I know normal people probably get the red but I generally prefer a red that sits beyond the classic Louboutin shade (i.e., brighter or more merlot-toned). So generic Tres Decollete it was.

Yes, it’s very expensive and no, the polish quality and consistency does not warrant the price tag. It wears as any good Essie or even Barry M polish would – marry it with a decent base and top coat and you will get a comfortable 5-6 days of wear time before the chips settle in.

What you pay for here is pretty obvious – it’s the design of the bottle. When I first spotted this on Instagram I was not a fan for practical reasons (the spike scares the living daylights out of me) but at this point I love the fact that the heart of the brand is represented in the aesthetics. He could so easily have slapped his name on a bottle that was cheaper to manufacture but instead made the effort to create something that both looks and feels truly special.

Am I going to buy more? Am I heck! Have you seen the price? I would have been tempted if the polish had been sensational but what you see above required three careful coats so there is nothing outstanding about the formula. This is firmly sitting in the “one off” category.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Brights For Eyes

For the record, I didn’t buy these eyeshadows – I was sent them.

These are so wonderful to look at. 


It’s a pastel paradise, with a mix of two finishes: metallic (read: high shimmer) and shimmer wash (sheer with a light pearl).

Some of the colours are very wearable – Golden Amber for example is very pretty on and gives a delicate, pretty finish…it's a great shadow actually.



…the others however are more of a challenge for me. I mean I like looking at the baby blue, sea green and lavender shades but other than perhaps using them along the lower lash line or to blend out other colours, I just can’t imagine them working.

I think much of this comes down to age. I can’t help but think that much of this line would be perfect for a teenager. The pigmentation is sheer – and so much more appropriate for that age range – and the colours themselves encapsulate a youthful approach to makeup. Now you might argue that a teenager is hardly going to be able to afford a £17.50 a piece eyeshadow and I think you have a point there. As nice as these shadows are to admire they present too much of a challenge for me.

Right, I could go on (and on and on) with this post but I’ll stop here for fear of boring you with prose. 

I would love to know what products you have encountered recently that qualified as being okay…and yet not repurchase-or-recommendation worthy.

As always, thanks for reading the waffle!



Black Opium by YSL

This perfume has plagued me for two weeks. As nice as the scent is I had a wicked sense of déjà vu - just where had I met this fragrance before?


Today I had the light bulb moment and finally worked it out.  If Diesel Loverdose toned down it’s licorice note you would get this, Opium Black. It’s warm, vanilla-laden and one of those perfumes that warms up a bleak day.

To say that this is a unique offering from YSL would be a total lie. To me this is an uber-commercial perfume that has been carefully crafted to appeal to the masses. It has almost no connection to the parent perfume that it’s named after and instead has a closer resemblance to the aforementioned dupe and Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle.

Officially coffee is the dominant note with pink pepper, orange blossom vanilla, patchouli and cedar in supporting role. I get a sweet kick in the nose with sugary vanilla, which dries down to something with a hint of spice.

So far, so generic.

Well yes but I don’t even care that this is similar to a whole family of other fragrances. There is something really yummy – yes, yummy - about Black Opium.  It’s incredibly warming, mood elevating and a real people pleaser. I like it a lot. Although perhaps not as much as the girl in the ad: 



I think this works well on women but would also possibly smell amazing on a man, especially if he is the kind of chap already open to fragrances like Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb. And as a very seasonally appropriate perfume I think this will be a strong contender as a Christmas stocking filler. 

What do you think of Black Opium? 
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