Monday, 26 August 2013

Crown Brush - Eye edition.

Hi ladies

I've previously reviewed my Crown face brushes that I bought at IMATS and today is the turn of the eye brushes. I had quite a few eye brushes beforehand and didn't really need these but wanted to change it up so since buying these I sold my older brushes. I will again use the prices on the website as opposed to IMATS prices because there wasn't much difference.

Pro blending crease brush - c441 (£3.99)
I used to have the sigma e25 brush and I bought this to replace that. I found the e25 scratchier and more prone to shedding than this. This synthetic brush hasn't shed as of yet and does a good job of blending eyeshadow. I hear nothing but rave reviews of the MAC 217 but I wonder what it does differently to these cheaper dupes. This brush is fluffy and is good to defuse the colour.

Syntho DLX Deluxe Blending Crease - SS027 (£4.99)
I love this brush! I actually bought it to potentially use as an under eye concealer brush but it is too small and not fluffy enough for that (oh sigma e40 how I miss thee). This natural italian badger hair brush is instead perfect for precise application of eyeshadow in the socket to build up the drama (especially if you have small eyes like me). It is also dense enough to blend shadow where you don't want to completely defuse the colour such as a cut crease but still want the lines to be fairly apparent.

Oval Crease Brush - BK10 (£3.49)
This is just a standard brush to pack on some colour. This does a good job as it is dense and picks up enough colour.

Pro Spoolie - IB118 (£2.09)
There isn't much to say about a spoolie. I'm not sure what makes this pro but it helps to groom my brows, is sturdy enough and um yeah that's about it. As you can see mine has something sticking out which I need to cut off but left to show you.

So these are all the eye brushes I have from Crown. I am definitely impressed with them all especially for the price and I'm enjoying getting back into doing eyeshadow looks. Like I've said I regret selling my sigma e40 which is a MAC 224 style brush to use for both concealer and to really blend out the edge of any eyeshadow look. It doesn't only blend eyeshadow but it completely defuses the colour which you can't do with the above brushes. I think I'll look into whether Crown does one of these (I'm sure they do, they have loads of brushes).

So will you be adding any Crown brushes to your collection?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Battle of the Pore Primers - excruciating before/after photos.

Hi ladies

This post has been a long time coming. I've been trying out a few primers over the past few months that claim to reduce the appearance of pores amongst other things, such as wrinkles, fine lines etc. My focus is on pores as that is what I 'suffer' with (how dramatic). Starting with the cheapest we have Garnier Perfect Blur primer (£12.99 for 30ml, currently on offer for £8.66 in Botts), Nanoblur (£19.99 for 30ml) and Benefit Porefessional (£24.50 for 22ml).
The porefessional is a mini size.
From left to Right: Garnier, Nanoblur, Porefessional.
They all have completely different textures and even colours. The Garnier primer is a moussey formula with a pinky shade, the Nanoblur is a white runny gel like liquid and Porefessional is a beige, thick cream.

In these sorts of posts I think it's best to let the photos do the talking so here we go.

Benefit Porefessional
This is easy to spread on the skin and leaves it very smooth, if not somewhat slippery feeling (I hear it's too greasy for some oily skin). It can sometimes accentuate my dry flakes and in terms of reducing the appearance of pores, I would say this is the least effective but still decent. Review with better photos.

Garnier Perfect Blur Smooth Perfecting Primer
This leaves the skin very smooth, is easy to rub in and you can apply foundation on top pretty much rightaway. It completely mattifies the skin without drying out my already dry skin or making the flakies look worse. Review with more photos.

This comes out as a runny white liquid and looks like a gel moisturiser but when applied to the skin it is very tacky. You need to let it set before you try and apply make up on top.

And the winner is...
In short I think the Garnier works best at minimising the appearance of my pores and I like the texture it leaves behind. It's like it instantly sucks away all oiliness without leaving the skin dry and is a great base for make up too. Not only that, it's the cheapest of the bunch so my inner cheapo money conscious person is jumping for joy. I think these sort of primers are perfect for the summer when we're all perspiring (attractive) and want our skin to look better but without coverage. Most of the time I use these with nothing on top and love the difference it makes, especially in the warmer months.

Which is your favourite primer or even skincare product to reduce the appearance of pores?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Crown Brush - Face edition.

Hi ladies

Today I wanted to run you through my thoughts on the Crown brushes I picked up at IMATS. They weren't particularly discounted or anything so I'll use the prices on the website itself. Off we go...

Mini Duo Fibre Blender C436 (£7.39)

I have really been getting into cream blushers recently and I always hear how stippling brushes are the best tools for applying them. The only one I had was the ELF stippling brush but that was nowhere near dense enough to apply blush so before IMATS this was one style of brush I knew I wanted (the others weren't strictly necessary). This is perfect for what I want, it grabs the right amount of blush with a few taps and is dense enough to buff on the skin.

Contour blush - c405 (£8.29)
Prior to IMATS I was using a MAC SE edition blush brush which wasn't the softest in the world although it did the job. I wanted an angled brush that I could use for blush and contouring (for when I get round to buying a contour powder). This isn't as soft as I would have hoped but it is angled, dense and small enough to give an even application. I also love that it's white so you can see exactly how much product you have. 

Round blender - C457 (£4.99)
I bought this to apply concealer under my eyes. I expected it to be a smaller version of my Sigma f82 and it pretty much is. It is extremely dense and because of this I feel it can tug on the area under my eyes and can leave concealer a bit streaky so I go over it with my fingers. It isn't as delicate as what I am used to for that area (Sigma e40 which I regretfully sold) but if you are looking for a small extremely dense brush, this is a good option.

So those are 3 face brushes I picked up from Crown Brush. I have another post coming up showing you the eye brushes I bought but so far it's all been pretty positive. It would have been nice to get a Crown foundation buffing brush (especially as I recently 'damaged' by sigma f82 - still perfectly usable though) because I think foundation brushes are a good standard by which to judge a brush brand, but maybe next time.

Do you have any crown brushes? What do you think?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Swatching Session #4 - 1D lippies, collection, sleek & L'oreal.

Hi ladies

So the next round of swatches I've collected amassed a lot quicker than expected so I thought I'd get this up. 

Collection Colour Pro Intense Colour Lip Lacquer - £6.50

Rebel, Show Off, It Girl, Prom Queen.

Nicely pigmented glosses.
Collection Work the Colour Eyeshadow Pencil - £3.19

Left to Right
Vanilla Sky, Vintage Blush, Gunmetal Glitz, Hot Chocolate, Denim Diva, Midnight Glam
Review of this coming soon.

Sleek Lip 4 Lipstick Palette - £8.99


Some seriously dodgy swatches here but as you can see the texture and pigmentation of the shades really varies. Some are really liquidy like the 2 reds and some are more matte. It comes in 'sleek' packaging with a mirror and lip brush but to be honest I'm just not a lipstick in a palette kinda girl. It would be good for travel though.

L'oreal Sensational Shine Gloss - £6.19

Left to Right - Grenaldine, Coffee Kiss, Electric Orange, Stellar Berry & Fabulous Pink.
These really caught my eye in Boots. It has a bit of a scent, is not noticeable sticky, gives a pop of translucent colour and the packaging is sleek enough to take minimal space in your bag. In the age of stains and jumbo pencils, this a no nonsense, old school gloss. There is an extensive shade range with some gorgeous colours.

One Direction Make Up (in collaboration with MUA)
Lip Polish - £2.50
Bottom to Top - Strawberry, Watermelon, Cherry, Vanilla & Blueberry.
Lipstick - £3
Bottom to top -  I want (Liam), Rock me (Louis) & I wish (Zayn)
Lets be honest what do One Direction know about make up? I'm guessing this is quite the money maker though considering MUA's target audience are around the age range of the majority of 1D fans (majority, not all).

So that was another round up of swatches. I should really get therapy for this swatching obsession.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

MAC kohl in Smolder - worth the hype?

Hi ladies

I'm not really a person who buys much MAC and an eyeliner is definitely not something I would usually buy but years ago my mum tried someones MAC kohl in Smolder and fell in love. She instructed me to pick one up for her and I remember at the time she said she loved it because it didn't smudge or wear off on her. I thought that was quite weird because from what I knew of Smolder it was a kohl people used to smudge on their lash line for that smokey/smouldering look. The MAC lady even directed me towards a more long lasting formula but my mum wanted this specific kohl so that's what I bought. This now retails for £14.

Bottom line - light swatch
Middle - One firm swatch
Top - 3 swatches built up

The reason this Kohl is sat around pretty much untouched is because my mum discovered it was good at what it was meant do. Basically it smudged when she tried to put it on her waterline and ended up everywhere. I don't really do much of the smokey/smudgy look and so I didn't get much use out of it either.

It isn't the most pigmented or creamiest of liners I've come across and isn't something I would pick up myself given the choice. Although it is good at what it is meant to do I feel you could use cheaper creamy eye liners and smudge it to get the same effect. So in short the hype is a bit lost on me.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Foundation Friday - DHC Q10 Moisture Care Liquid Foundation

Hi ladies

I'm trying to bring back Foundation Friday which I started earlier this year and we're bringing it back with DHC's q10 moisture care liquid foundation. I was sent 2 shades as we weren't sure which one would match. This foundation comes in 4 shades from light to medium skin tones and I have the 2 darker shades in 02 and 03. This foundation retails for £25 for 40g of product which you can buy from the DHC website.

dhc moisture care liquid foundation 02 03

The packaging is a mixture of bright pink and purple plastic with a pump. It would be perfect to travel with as it is so light but personally as 'fun' as it is, it doesn't scream high end foundation to me. Having said that, DHC is a japanese brand and I have noticed Japanese products are quite bright and in your face.
dhc moisture care liquid foundation swatch 02 03
Top - 03
Bottom - 02
So let's just get the shade range out of the way. The darkest shade is in fact a little too light for me and there are much darker ladies than me out there. Again, this might be to do with the fact that it is a Japanese brand.

02 is definitely too light and I could use it to lighten up foundations that are too dark for me. 03 like I said is also a little too light for me but I can make it work. My cheeks are lighter than my forehead and chin so the foundation matches that area. Elsewhere I have to make sure I blend, blend, blend. While we're on the subject, the runny texture makes it pretty effortless to blend over the skin. I have used both brushes and my hands (the latter of which I rarely do with foundation).

The reason I was excited to try this foundation is because it was described as ultra-moisturising with dewy coverage. Now, when I pumped it on my hands, the swatch as you can see above looked really promising. Lightweight and dewy looking. However, I have really dry skin and I don't think this foundation is particularly moisturising. For normal skin, it might be, but on me it was neither noticeably moisturising nor drying. In terms of a dewy finish, I get more of a glow from the YSL touche eclat foundation. I would describe this as something in between dewy and matte, I believe they call that satin?

That aside, it gives good coverage and if you are fairer skinned, looking for a foundation of this price range and have normal/combination skin, I would recommend you keep this in mind.

Till next time...Toodles! :)