Friday, 27 April 2012

You fail me Illamasqua Skin Base...

Well hello there! It's been a while!

I really must apologise for my absence. Life got in the way of blogging again. I've also been a little under the weather and currently have a bit of an eye infection (antibiotic eye drops are not a good time) so haven't been wearing much makeup. Well, I mean, lets not be ridiculous, I've still been wearing foundation, blusher etc, just no eye makeup or anything else near my eye which is a real shame as I had just got a few new bits and pieces of eye makeup before I got struck down with the lurgie. 

Anyway, I really wanted to get back to the blog so thought I would do a few posts that i've been meaning to do for a while.

Now, I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing about doing a post on this particular product for a while. At the end of last year I found myself craving a new foundation. I've been a devoted Estee Lauder Double Wear fan for quite some time now but was longing to try something different. I had heard lots of good things about the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation and, given my love for the brand, thought I would try it out.

So many people seem to love this foundation but, honestly? I'm not one of them. I just can't get it to work for me.

It comes in the same packaging as the Satin & Matt primers, plastic bottle, plastic lid. It does allow you to control how much you get out of it (its always annoyed me that double wear doesn't have a pump!) but I can't say I'm a fan.

And, check out the pictures. Look what happened! The writing has all but disappeared from the package. This happened when it was about a week (!!) old and had only been sitting in my drawer. I lifted it up and it just smeared right off. Very annoying, especially when the shade disappeared as well. It also makes the packaging look pretty cheap too, not great when it isn't exactly budget friendly.

I was matched to shade 5 which isn't great. Its ok but definitely doesn't match me as well as other foundations i've tried since. The sales assistant tried 2 shades on me and the other one was just too pale.

I find this foundation ridiculously hard to work with. I cannot get it to apply smoothly. I find the consistency very thick. It doesn't blend well and I find that in order to get it to look just ok I need to do so much work that my arm literally aches. I also find that I have to use quite a lot of product just to get an ok coverage. Ok is key here, not great, just ok. I know that after the full coverage that is double wear, anything will seem less but I feel that I get better coverage and an overall more pleasant feel (plus better look!) with my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation which is much cheaper!

It oxidises on me quite badly as well. I get that unfortunate orangey look in areas pretty quickly after application. It also looks quite cakey. I had thought as first that was because of the amount of product I was using but I've also tried it with less product and it still looks cakey, but cakey with crap coverage, something I didn't even think was possible.

The picture below shows it blended in. In this picture, I did the same amount of blending at the edges I would have done with double wear, healthy mix etc and look at it...deary me!

I keep going back to this foundation as I'm desperate to make it work for me. After so many rave reviews, I find it so hard to believe that, for me, theres so much wrong with it. It has actually put me off trying any other Illamasqua foundations as if I don't like this, the one that is supposedly the best, what chance do I have? Despite that, I still absolutely adore Illamasqua. I just doubt their foundations will be getting a look in in the future!

Jill x

Monday, 9 April 2012

Current Favourite Base Products...

I thought I would do a little post to show what my favourite base (primer, concealer, foundation and powder) products have been recently. As I said in my previous post I have really been loving more affordable high street brands recently and that is reflected in my current favourites.

  • Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation - As a life long Estee Lauder Double Wear fanatic I was surprised when I found myself looking for a lighter coverage foundation. My skin has been behaving itself recently and I wanted to try something that wasn't such heavy coverage. I really love this. Its a light to medium coverage that is definitely buildable. I wouldn't say the finish is dewey but its not quite matt either. I've worn this every day since I got it and its definitely my current favourite. I picked the colour 51 Light Vanilla and the colour match is pretty close to perfect. I find that this gives a lovely base to work with without blanking out my features. I think that it makes me look more awake and my skin quite radiant when I use it, especially in conjunction with the next product. I will definitely re-purchase.
  • L'Oreal Lumi Magnique Pure Light Primer - This is a gorgeous illuminating primer. It really does what it says on the tin. My skin looks brighter, healthier and more luminescent when I wear this. Its even lovely on its own. This is quite similar to Mac Strobe Cream but I have always felt that Strobe Cream gave me too much shine. This doesn't really make me shine, just brightens my skin and adds a radiance that still shows through foundation. It also feels very light on my skin.
  • Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfecter - This is a pore minimising primer, designed to do the same as the much loved Benefit Pore-fessional. I haven't actually tried Benefits offering but I had tried some on the back of my hand and just didn't like the way it felt on my skin. Despite filling the pores, this is light, doesn't feel heavy and is really nice at giving a good smooth base to work from. My pores look noticeably smaller and my makeup doesn't settle into them when I use this.
  • Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer - This has been my go to concealer recently. It gives really excellent coverage and blends really nicely. It also lasts for most of the day as well. The only downside to this is the writing on my tube of it has completely worn away as you can see from the picture above. Not exactly a big complaint but it does make the product look pretty cheap and nasty. Still, it works so well cant really complain.
  • Sleek Makeup Luminous Pressed Powder - I love this. Its a light powder which makes the skin look luminous (as the name suggests). I like how light this is as it does add additional cover to my foundation but doesn't look cakey or too heavy. Its easy to blend and doesn't wear away. Really lovely.
I also thought I would show you my go to brushes to apply all this

They are both Real Techniques brushes and are the Buffing Brush (Golden) and the Deluxe Crease Brush (purple). Both of these are parts of sets and unfortunately cannot be bought separately. I love the buffing brush so much that I bought 2 of the sets and use one brush for my liquid foundation and another for my powder. It really buffs it on perfectly and is so easy to work with.

The bristles of all Real Techniques brushes are made from synthetic Taklon and are super super soft. Like unbelievably so meaning that they are a pleasure to work with. The Deluxe Crease Brush is the one I use for blending my concealer and I really couldn't be without it. I don't know how I got on before I discovered either of these brushes. I have all bar 3 of the Real Techniques brushes (not counting the 3 newly introduces ones) and they are absolutely my favourite brushes.

Jill x

Saturday, 7 April 2012

I Love Sleek Blush in Rose Gold...

I've been really loving high street brands recently! This is unusual for me because I've been using higher end brands for as long as I can remember. I'll be honest, I'd probably have stuck to them as well had I not been so conscious of my lack of funds to support my beauty habit. However,  the ££ issue has meant that I have discovered some true beauty gems from the high street! One of them is the Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow that I talked about in my last post and one is this Sleek Makeup Blush that I picked up recently.

The colour I picked up is Rose Gold. I had seen this on quite a number of blogs as a NARS Orgasm dupe. I don't actually have NARS Orgasm so I can't comment on that, what I can comment on is how lovely this product is!

I had never tried Sleek before but was curious about it given its cult following. I can honestly say I haven't been disappointed. I think I have used this blush nearly every day since I got it! It's become a firm favourite, definitely my favourite of my recently bought blushes!

Its the most lovely peachy pink which is infused with a lovely golden shimmer.  It looks quite orangey in the pan but it isn't as orange when used with a light hand and blended. The shimmer through it is lovely. Its not glittery or overwhelming but its enough that I don't feel the need to use a highlighter (this NEVER happens...I love my highlighters). Its also extremely pigmented and long lasting on my cheeks as well. 

I think its important to use a light hand with this though due to the pigmentation. I've been loving my Real Techniques blusher brush recently and when I use this I usually only tap it twice in the pan and that gives more than enough colour!

Two swatch pictures just to show the pigmentation shine! You can see that a light hand is a must as these aren't heavy swatches.

Like I said, I haven't got NARS Orgasm so I can't comment on how similar they are but given how lovely this blush is, if they are similar, I doubt NARS would be getting a look in. This is just so good. And for such a great product, the cost is phenomenal....£4.30! Amazing!

Jill x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

How I Love Thee Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow...

The following product has caused quite the stir in the beauty world. I read a number of blogs, some of which are by lovely ladies across the atlantic in the USA or Canada. I've seen this product on these blogs for quite some time and was gutted to find out they weren't available for me to immediately snap up here in the uk...well, they are now and they're selling super fast, so fast that they're sold out in a number of places. The product i'm talking about is the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 hour eyeshadow (check the US spelling!)

The shade I picked up is 35- On and on Bronze. I love this. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about this. This performs the way that I had hoped the Mac Paint Pot would.

The comparisons between Mac Paint Pots and these are inevitable but really, the comparisons end with the packaging. The Color Tattoo Eyeshadows come in a similar glass pot and, ok, I guess they have a similar gel-cream texture to the paint pots but I think these are creamier and far superior. 

The pigmentation is intense. I've hardly had to use any product to get a gorgeous deep and shiny colour. 

I can't vouch for the 24 hour claim, however, I have worn this for over 12 hours and I can honestly say, it lasted that length of time with the same colour intensity and absolutely no creasing. This stayed where I put it. It dries very quickly so if you want to blend you need to be quick but thats a small price to pay for amazing pigmentation and lasting power.

So on to the colour that I picked. This is a really gorgeous neutral bronzy brown. These come in a variety of different colours (the bright blue and purple look particularly intense) but I thought this was the most wearable. Plus, I actually couldn't pick any more up as this was the last one left on the stand bar one blue one!

I've taken a couple of pictures from slightly different angles to show you not only the colour but the incredible shine that comes with this product..also please note that I couldn't wait to use it so it has been used in these pictures.

As you can see from the pictures above, this product can look quite golden bronze depending on what light you're in.

Ive been wearing this as both an eyeshadow and an eyeliner and its brilliant. Even on my watery eyes this just doesn't budge! It also works well as an eyeshadow base. If Mac Paint Pots worked half as well as this does i'd buy them all!

Look at that pigmentation and shine. The swatches above aren't even heavy. The colour pay off is fantastic.

As you can maybe tell, I love this product and will definitely be picking up more, if I can find them in stock! Also, one of the best things about these is the price...£4.99 and they're in the 3 for 2 at Boots. You really can't lose!

Jill x

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A little Barry M Blue Moon Love...

I picked up this cheery little polish the other week in the midst of that glorious weather we've been having here in the UK.

I've really been loving pastel polishes recently and this Barry M number is no exception. Its the most lovely pale pastel blue. The shade is called Blue Moon. In the bottle it has the slightest blue iridescent shimmer but unfortunately this doesn't translate to the nails. Its still lovely though and I really love Barry M polishes in general. At £2.99 they're an absolute bargain and I've always found the formula lovely and lasting power is brilliant - I changed my polish after 4 days and it still looked the same as when I first put it on. The picture below is true to colour and is after 2 coats.

Jill x