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URBAN DECAY: VICE LIPSTICKS

Saturday, 18 June 2016

It's not often that a new release really catches my eye, but when I heard that Urban Decay were ditching their entire lipstick range in exchange for a souped up new collection of 100 shades (still containing some old favourites but with 74 new additions, an improved formula and a choice of six finishes to boot) I couldn't wait to get my mitts on them to try. Released online on June 9th, I wanted to wait until I could see them in the flesh before deciding which I needed to add to my already overflowing make-up wardrobe. And so, on Thursday I popped to the in-store launch after work and spent a good half hour sifting through and deciding which were my favourites whilst simultaneously sipping on a glass of champers - perfect!

Eventually, I decided on these four - Liar, Rush, Violate - all with a cream finish - and Hitch Hike - a comfort matte. It was these two finishes within the range that I was immediately drawn to as I like my lipsticks pigmented yet comfortable on the lips. There are also the mega matte, metallized, sheer and sheer shimmer finishes available - so if it's variety you're after then this lot are a pretty safe bet.

Starting with what for me, is the most daring pick of the four - Violate is a dusty purple with a pink undertone, but, unlike a lot of similar shades, doesn't wash you out at all. I'm thinking of going blonder soon and so the thought behind this one was that it would fab with platinum locks and a tonne of smudged out black liner. More of a 'standard' shade (for me at least) is Liar - bordering on a peach but leaning ever so slightly towards the pinky-nude bracket. It's one of those every day colours that would look even better with a tan and a base with a bit of golden glow. And then there's Rush - a pinky-mauve which again would suit most skin tones and is one of those effortless shades that requires minimal maintenance. 

I love how nourishing the cream formula of these is along with how it sits so nicely on the lips - yet despite this, it lasts well. I gave it it's first test run on Friday morning for work and it stuck around for a good 3-4 hours before I felt the need to top up. Plus, the fact that it applies so evenly means that it fades tidily without any obvious patches.


Much of the same can be said about Hitch Hike - a stunning brick rose - this time in the comfort matte formula. It reminds me a lot of MAC's Brick-o-la, yet I prefer it thanks to the finish which makes it longer-lasting without drying out your lips and accentuating any patches that aren' quite as smooth as they might be.

Though I am yet to thoroughly road test the shades I have picked up, so far I am a big fan of them and can definitely see myself going back and picking up more - perhaps even trying out some of the other finishes and more adventurous shades. One thing I would advise before going into store though, would be to download the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick app (available on all Apple devices), that allows you try the shades on before you buy! It can be a little overwhelming when all one hundred lipsticks are sat in front of you at once, and so I think this is a great idea to help you decide what you're after beforehand.

You can browse the entire Vice Lipstick collection here, along with the fifty corresponding lip liners that have been released. Currently retailing at what I would consider to be a very reasonable £15, in my opinion you're really getting a bargain as on first impression I would without doubt compare them to some much pricier high end counterparts. 

Have you tried anything from the new Vice collection yet? Have any of the shades caught your eye?

Sarah x

TOM FORD @ JOHN LEWIS

Thursday, 16 June 2016
Fellow beauty addicts far and wide will already know that if it’s high end you’re after – not to mention luxe packaging and some seriously swoon-worthy products, then Tom Ford is where it’s at. Their new range has recently landed at John Lewis, and so of course, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world when I was asked if I would like to try out a couple of the latest additions to the collection. 

If you’re a regular visitor around these parts, you will know that I have a tendency to spend my lunch hours lingering around the counter in store – constantly swatching and sniffing what’s on offer, and am a particularly big fan of the beautiful lipsticks and nail lacquers in the range  (Ruby Rush and Scarlet Chinois are, without doubt, my favourite classic red pairing).

This time though I opted to  try out some of their eye make up – the much talked about Eye Defining Pen in ‘Deeper’* and one of the incredibly beautiful Eye Colour Quads in ‘Nude Dip’*

If eyeliner is normally your nemesis, then the former is definitely for you as it makes application such a breeze and sticks around so well that it means the usual worries of having to faff around to ensure an even wing and to avoid transfer are made  a thing of the past. This stuff wont budge and is so pigmented – it really is the blackest black. In addition, the fact that your are provided with two liners – one slight shorter and stumpier, the other longer and finer – means that no matter what your eye shape it is easy to achieve the perfect line and create definition by getting right into the lash line/any spots you might otherwise miss. I also really love how gloriously weighty it feels, which, for me, makes it easier to manoeuvre than the vast majority of liners out there. If you’re a big fan of a feline flick then I’d say it’s worth investing in this as despite the hefty price tag, it won’t be easily beaten. 

The Eye Colour Quad itself is, as you would expect – fantastic quality again, with a buttery, super blendable collection of shades ranging from a golden champagne to a deep brown - each with a slight satin finish. Though very pretty, there isn’t anything particularly unique about each shade on its own, but as a collection they work beautifully and the convenience of being able to cart them around in such a stunning little one stop compact makes it worth the price tag for me. There is an incredibly beautiful range of shades within the Quads available. Two of my favourites are Seductive Rose – a mix of lighter pinks, mauves along with a deep sumptuous plum, and Honeymoon – a set of warm toned neutrals including a couple of striking coppery shades and a rich, frosted cranberry.

I feel like sometimes the Tom Ford make up line can be overlooked in favour of their fragrances, which, are without doubt some of the most spectacular on the market. If you really want to treat yourself though and you have the budget, then I would highly recommend checking out the fabulous range of products on offer. There isn’t one that I have tried that I haven’t been thoroughly impressed with so far, and that I haven’t felt like a princess whilst wearing/applying it. Next on my list is the Shade and Illuminate compact – this might be the start of a slight obsession! 

Whether you want to spoil yourself or are just looking for a special gift for the make-up lover in your life, you can find the entire range online here, or alternatively,  pop into your local John Lewis store (just don’t blame me when you return home having spent a small fortune!). 

Are there any of the Tom Ford products that are currently on your wishlist? I’d be interested to know what other ‘must haves’ I might need to invest in! 

Sarah x  

MAY BEAUTY FAVOURITES

Saturday, 11 June 2016

I’m a little late jumping on the bandwagon with this (or rather last) months most loved products this time around. I thought I would throw my two cents worth in though and run through quickly, what I’ve been enjoying and reaching for on a regular basis throughout May. As the weather has been pretty glorious of late, I’ve generally been going for skin and bodycare products over anything else so as to keep me feeling refreshed, and have been keeping make up natural and to a minimum, as this little selection tends to reflect. 


Cream cleansers are one of my favourite products when it comes to wanting my skin to feel plump and nourished. I’d had my eye on this one for a while but had wanted to use up my Una Brennan Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Cleanser before splashing out (another lovely product, especially if you are on a budget). After eventually deciding to invest though, I am so glad I did. The formula is so soothing – packed with nutrient rich ingredients like avocado oil and marigold flower, and contains vinanza oxifend which helps combat any inflammation/redness/irritability. Though the product itself claims to be scent free, personally I find that there is a slight scent to it which is delicate and has a hint of floral. It isn’t at all overpowering though and I actually find it to be one of the main reasons that I enjoy using this cleanser so much – spending ages massaging in it as it feels so nourishing and luxurious. I use it as a second cleanse in the evening and also use a small amount on its own in the morning, leaving my skin feeling clean, calm and super soft. If you suffer with sensitive skin then this is definitely one to try.


Now I must be honest here – this was a completely accidental purchase! I had been perusing what was on offer at The Cosmetics Company Store - hoping to find a few bargains - and spotted the Amber Musk Body Cream. I already own Aerin’s Evening Rose Body Cream which smells incredible and is beautifully moisturising, and, with one sniff I decided I needed this one too. However, in my excitement I picked up the wrong box and only discovered when I got home, after unwrapping it, that this was the case. Not one to be deterred, I tried the body wash out that evening in my bath as part of a little pamper sesh. It created fabulous bubbles, and filled the whole of upstairs (never mind just the bathroom), with its beautiful scent encompassing a mix of slight floral hints, amber and deep creamy musk. My favourite part though, was how this lingered on my skin even the next day. I love the Aerin fragrances, but if you’re looking to save a few pennies, then picking up the body wash instead might just suffice, as it lasts for just as long on the skin! Considering I only picked this up two weeks ago,  I am already nearing the end of the bottle – a rarity for me when it comes to body products. It’s also so much less faff than using a body cream and so I think I get my moneys worth through that fact alone, as so many of my body moisturisers lie unused for weeks thanks to nothing but sheer laziness on my part!


Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in ‘Adrienne’ 

This is actually the first ‘neutral’ Chanel lipstick that I have picked up. For some reason, before this (and very unlike me) – the others all fell into the pink category with one coral – the latter being the only one I have really gotten any wear out of since purchasing. I had nipped into John Lewis to see if I could pick up a couple of the new summer nail polishes the day before they hit the shelves. Having heard a few people mention ‘Adrienne’ as being one of those perfect everyday shades, I went and gave it a swatch whilst the lovely lady on the counter went in the back to search for me. I was expecting it to be similar to one of the many other day to day shades I have in my collection, but I was pleasantly surprised. I love peachy tones, but find them hard to pull off, and they also more often than not, tend to go patchy and cling to my naturally rosy lips. Yet this shade has a very slight hint of brown to it mixed in with a muted peach undertone and does none of the above. It suits my pale skin tone beautifully and would, I should imagine, suit most skin tones. The formula is of course hydrating and feels remarkably comfortable on the lips – containing mimosa, jojoba and sunflower plant butters to nourish and condition. At last, a no fuss Chanel shade that I can rely on to carry me throughout the day! 


Whilst meandering around my local Space NK a few weeks back, I noticed that they had acquired a new Smith and Cult stand (they hadn’t stocked the brand there previously). ‘Bitter Buddhist’ had been on my wishlist for a while but had been sold out online the last time I checked and so I saw this as fate intervening and picked up a bottle. I have a couple of Smith and Cult polishes already, and though the colours (not to mention the packaging) are beautiful, I can’t say that I am a huge fan of either the brush or the formula – though far from terrible, they’re nothing special in my eyes. However, I do find them to last well, and, in this case, it has been the beautiful unique opaque celadon green (or as I like to think of it – mix between a dusky blue and a mint), that has had me hooked. I must say though, after picking up a selection of the latest Essie Gel Couture range last week (see my previous post), I can’t see me straying far away from them for the foreseeable! 



My biggest bug bare is my brows and I am always switching the products up that I use to try and achieve the fuller, more natural effect I‘m going for. One of my all time faves though, which I have repurchased a number of times now is the Anastasia Brow Wizz – its fine nib, non waxy formula and great range of shades meaning it caters to all my needs. The new brow definer in the range, caught my eye though as it combines what to me feels like the same formula (though I have heard others comment differently saying it is a little waxier), the same great range of shades (I use medium brown by the way), but also with the flexibility of a nib that allows for defined strokes yet quicker application at the same time. Personally, having quite sparse brows – I find it much easier to obtain a natural shape with this, especially at the front of the brow, thanks to the wider nib that also has a pointed end for more precision. Once this is pressed flat, it does a great job at mimicking brow hairs on its own and also works wonders at lengthening and filling in any barer patches. It appears very similar to one of the products Benefit are set to launch as part of their new overhauled brow range – the Goof Proof Brow Pencil, which, coincidentally, comes alongside a finer nibbed option – the Precisely My Brow Pencil – and so I will have to put these to the test and do a comparison at some point. For now though, I am pretty content with this latest option. 

Have you tried out any of these products? What beauty bits have you been enjoying using this month? 

Sarah x 

ESSIE GEL COUTURE: TOP PICKS

Saturday, 4 June 2016


As soon as I heard about the latest Essie releases to hit the shelves, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. The Gel Couture polishes come in twenty-five new shades; A mix of darks, brights, pastels/neutrals, nudes and pinks, as well as a new gel top coat to use alongside. They retail at £9.99 a pop, though Superdrug is currently offering buy one get one half price (hence why I ended up picking up five on this occasion!).

Essie is without doubt my favourite nail polish brand on the market, with what is in my opinion - the best range of shades, the most effective formula, and of course having lead the way with those thick 'one stroke' brushes that we all now know and love. I hunted high and low the day this lovely lot were released (June 1st) to find them, and after trying every Boots and Superdrug in Liverpool city centre I eventually tracked them down in the Superdrug on Parker Street (for anyone else having the same issue!).

It might just be the fact that we are within the warmer months now, but I was much more drawn to the lighter pastel and nude shades once I had the chance to inspect them up close, and ended up adding the following four to my collection;


Part of the 'Nudes' collection within the range - Sew Me is a creamy caramel rose with what I would also describe as having a very slight touch of peach to it. I could quite easily have picked up all of the colours in this collection as they were so super flattering (it's rare that I can find a nude that doesn't wash out my pale skin). 'Fairy Tailor' and 'Spool Me Over' are next on my list.


This is described as being a 'ladylike pink', but after trying it out I would say that it applies and dries less dusky and a little brighter than it appears in the bottle. More of a muted barbie pink, but still a very pretty one and flattering nonetheless as it still isn't too in your face like I find a lot of lighter pink shades to be.


The first of the colours from the 'neutral/pastel' collection that I picked up - this reminds me a lot of Essie's 'Merino Cool' (one of my faves), and is a plush taupe - grey with a lilacy tinge. It's one of those 'go to' shades that you could slap on and wear no matter what the time of year, no matter what the occasion.


Definitely the most unique shade amongst the four I chose - a slinky satin mint, that has a very slight iridescent shimmer to it which appears in the bottle but that isn't as detectable once applied (it more or less just adds to the shine). Again, it's particularly flattering against pale skin for such a light shade, and I am super pleased to have finally found a mint green that suits me.

Left to right; Top Coat, Stitch by Stitch, Sew Me, Take Me To Thread, Zip Me Up

I was pretty sure that I was going to like these polishes having read the reviews, even before I had seen them in the flesh - and I have not been disappointed. Though it is perhaps a little early to comment on their longevity as yet, (I have only been wearing the shade I have on now for four days - so far so good though!) I am completely in love with the formula and am amazed at how even the lightest shades apply beautifully with the signature wide brush and only require one coat for a flawless finish. 

They give a hefty amount of shine with a gel finish on their own, but with the addition of the top coat, provide you what I would consider to be a salon quality manicure with minimal effort required. 

Essie say that the polishes can last fourteen days - chip free, and so I will report back as to whether this claim turns out to ring true. However, for the beautiful formula (hence easy application) alone, I would highly recommend trying these out for yourself if you get the chance. My only criticism, is that of the forty-two shades being released in the US, we in the UK are only getting twenty-five of them! Fingers crossed this will change soon though, as there are plenty more that I already have my eye on...

Sarah x