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28 January 2012

NOTD - KIKO Violet Orchid Nail Polish

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As I was talking KIKO yesterday I thought I would carry on today and show you another lovely nail polish from the Italian brand. 

I own around 7 KIKO nail lacquers now and have to say they are one of my favourite nail polish brands along with Revlon and Models Own, oh and Barry M... and also China Glaze (I have a lot of favourites! They just apply so well, are quite opaque within 2-3 coats, they dry quickly, last well and most important don't cost the earth! 

Also I find they have quite a lot of unique shades and a vast range which is good to see for the price. 

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KIKO Violet Orchid Microglitter can be found on the KIKO UK website (here) or in-store at Westfield Stratford priced at £3.90.

As you can see in the sunlight this is such a lovely deep slightly duo chromed shade! On the KIKO site this is listed as a micro glitter polish (here) however I would say it has a more a metallic/duo chrome finish. Just so pretty for wearing on the nails in winter.

The nearest shade to this on the UK high street would be Gosh Gasoline which I haven't actually done a post on yet! However it is such a lovely deep shimmery purple shade. 

Fee xo.  


27 January 2012

Ordering with KIKO Online & Reviews!

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After discovering KIKO around two years ago in an Italian makeup swap I have been in love with the brand. However until recently KIKO wasn't available at all in the UK, but lucky for Londoners the first KIKO store opened up in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre (oh, how I was jealous!). 

But last week whilst lusting over some products I discovered KIKO now have a UK website - with free shipping o your first order!! 

Now before I get into what I purchased I thought I would get the few downsides out of the way... the main one being that there is a minimum order of £25 - so no snapping up a few cheap-y nail polishes and bagging free delivery! Also delivery is from Italy however I only realized this once I had received my order and it is slightly on the slow side (around 10 days) especially as it is stated as 'express delivery' which I didn't mind as it was free delivery for my 1st order, but I don't think I would be impressed if I was paying the normal £5.90 delivery charge. Though maybe I am being slightly harsh as I was expecting delivery in a few days and to be shipped from somewhere in the UK for some reason - I guess it would of been nice if they had stated shipping was from Italy.

Small glitches aside, if you are interested in KIKO I would highly recommend you either visit their store if you can or place an order online as you won't be disappointed as the brand is just such amazing quality! 

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Even though I already own quite a few products from Kiko it definitely look me some time to decide on what to purchase from the website as they do have quite a wide selection of products and I wanted to be sure I chose well. Which consisted of lots of Google searches when I found a product I liked the look of  to see swatches and reviews. Which I must say paid off as I love all the products I purchased!

KIKO Mixing Solution 50ml - £3.90 (available here)
This is described as a mixing solution for pigment loose powder eyeshadow to make eyeshadow creamy to ensure the highest blendability and hold. I decided to purchase this for purely practical reasons as I own quite a few Barry M Dazzle Dusts and NYX Pigments that I just do not use, as I highly dislike the mess when using them and the fallout. So I purchased this in hope it would help me get some use of of the loose eyeshadows. However I have been thoroughly impressed with the mixing solution and the results it gives and it has definitely gone beyond what I though was just a pratical purchase! 

As you can see in the image above when the mixing solution is used with a loose eyeshadow (Barry M Dazzle Dust in a shade I have forgot, sorry ) it becomes a lot more pigmented and even. Also using the solution is very easy as you just place one drop into the brush you are using and then pick up the eyeshadow, which actually removes the mess and spillage involved as the solution really grabs the pigment. Also the solution gives loose eyeshadows such staying power! So pleased with this - with definitely have to write a full review in the near future. 
 
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KIKO Nail lacquer 270 Aqua Sequins  - £1.50 was £3.90 (available here)
After already owned quite a few Kiko nail polishes and being so impressed with them I knew I had to get a couple more to add to my collection. Of course I had to include one glitter polish in there but sadly on trying this out it is very similar to Maybelline's Flash Cosmic nail polish, which you can see on the nails in this post on my favourite glitter nail polishes here. However the Kiko polish is slightly nicer as when it doesn't catch the light it doesn't look like yellow flecks unlike the one from Maybelline. So sadly this won't be getting as much love as I would of hoped! But for only £1.50 I really cannot complain and I am sure my niece will enjoy using it!
 
KIKO Nail lacquer 349 Light Olive Green - £1.50 was £3.90 (available here)
When I placed this into my online basket I crossed my fingers in hope that is would be a dupe for OPI Skull & Glossbones (from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection) and oh, I haven't been disappointed in the slightest! I had been looking for a dupe for the OPI nail polish for quite a few months now without much luck as after all it is quite a unique shade, so I cannot explain how pleased I am with this and for only £1.50 as well! 
 
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KIKO Double Glam Eyeliner in 09 Plum and Wood - £4.40 was £8.90 (available here)
This was one product that I didn't need to do any research on as I already own a lovely Double Glam Eyeliner from Kiko in a gorgeous brown and gold shade. These without a shadow of a doubt are exactly like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on eye pencils which retail for £16 each. Think creamy, pigmented, waterproof eyeliners that just don't budge and last on the eyes all day. I'm sure there are a lot more dupes than this but I instantly thought Plum was a really good dupe for UD 24/7 glide-on eye pencil in Rockstar and the Wood also seems a good dupe of Whiskey. 

This is just a super duper product is you like creamy eyeliners that are that waterproof it takes you multiple attempts to remove it fully at the end of the day!
 
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KIKO Lip Volume Plumping Lip Cream 15ml - £6.90 (available here)
This was the wild card of my order as I didn't do any research on the product and for just under £7 it wasn't the cheapest of products that I could of purchased. However I do like trying out plumping lip products and I also liked that it also softened the lips like a lip balm at the same time. Now this is no miracle worker however it is free from that 'tingle' you get with a lot of lip pluming glosses and treatments but instead you get a more warming sensation, but this does give some effects with the lips looking that tiny bit more plumped up, as it you have been eating something spicy maybe!

What I like most about this product is that is really does soften the lips and kind of works are a primer/base before applying lipstick which I didn't except to see in the product. This isn't my favourite product out of the order but I am still pleased none the less.

KIKO Pencil Lip Gloss in 09 Light Beige - £3.90 (available here)
I decided to try this out as I have never tried a lipgloss in crayon format, I have quite a few lipsticks crayons from various brands though and I have always been impressed plus I know the whole lipgloss pencil is a more European product as Essense do quite a few as well.  As you can see from the swatch above this is just a subtle beige/nude shade that is great for daytime wear. What I like most about this is that is has a nice glossy but non-sticky finish and is non-drying which is always important for me. Would really like to try more shades, maybe something light pink or even a deeper shade.
 

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Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06 Golden Brown - £6.90 (available here)
Another favourite of my order! But after reading so many great reviews on these I knew it would be love at first sight. With most reviews I read on the Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows they all compared them to MAC shadesticks... now never trying them I really cannot say. But what I can say is that swatch definitely doesn't do the shade any justice at all and that I just love this product. Once applied on the lids you have a bit of time to blend the shadow and then once it has dried this doesn't move and stays just as pigmented all day with no creasing (I do always apply UD Primer Potion though) I even find at the end of the day this is hard to remove. The stick literally just glides onto the lids and just looks so pretty and shimmery. Really just such good quality! 

If you love pigmented cream eyeshadows than I really do urge you to try this out as it's just a perfect product that cannot be faulted and also the packaging looks really sleek as well. 

As you can see I have been thoroughly impressed with all the products and don't think I could of been any happier with my order - well except for the delivery time. 

KIKO really is such high quality for the price and I would actually compare the standard to be up there with the likes of MAC! 


Fee xo. 


26 January 2012

Lifting the Lid... December Boudoir Prive/Jolie Box

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I'm back rambling about monthly Beauty boxes again! 
This time Boudoir Prive, which has recently joined hands with leading french beauty box subscription service - Joliebox. Now I was really enjoying the Boudoir Prive box.. with brands such as - Korres, Zoya, Rahua and Rose & Co to name a few. 

So I really do hope that the Jolie Box carry on along the same lines with quite popular brands and not more niche french brands that aren't as well known. However based on this box alone it seems that we don't have anything to worry about... though only time will really tell. 

The Price
The Jolie Box contains 5-6 deluxe samples and is priced at £12.95 including delivery. The box is of course monthly and if subscribed to this month you will receive your first box in February. Like all the beauty boxes you can cancel at anytime but it does work on a direct debit basis. You can view more info on the box here.
 
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The Packaging 
The Bourdoir Prive box for me had some nice features such as the magnetic close lid and the cute mirror sticker however on the whole I thought the entire appearance of the box was a little bland. So I must say I'm much preferring the new look to the box - from the vibrant fuchsia ribbon to the chic black box that is slightly more compact.


The Products  
 The first JolieBox contained - OPI Gold Shatter Nail Lacquer, Mitchell and Peach Shower Wash, New CID Cosmetics i-gloss, Jane Iredale 24-Karat Gold Dust, Yon-Ka Vital Defense. 

Bonus products - Kusmi Detox Tea and a Jolie Box Concealer Brush. 
 
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OPI Gold Shatter Nail Lacquer (full size - worth £10.50)
I was really surprised to see a full sized OPI nail polish in the first Jolie Box as after all the polishes do retail for over £10 and it is also quite a recent release for OPI. Plus I had previously purchased this for my sister as I thought it was such a lovely polish. I personally don't love the crackle/shatter trend but without a base nail polish the OPI shatter doesn't actually shatter and looks just like a normal nail polish so I have used this quite a bit. 

Jane Iredale 24-Karet Gold Dust in Rose Gold (full size - £11)
I'm not a huge fan of loose shimmery products however I instantly fell in love with that rose gold shade and also how it was more of a multi-purpose product that could be used on the eyes, checks, shoulder and apparently in the hair according to the Joliebox website (I'm not convinced). This is just a lovely quality product that has led me to look at other Jane Iredale products. 

JolieBox Concealer/Eyeshadow brush (exclusive to box)
I found this such a nice touch to the box and would personally love to see more of these in upcoming boxes to collect a set of them. Maybe a lip brush when a lip product is featured in the box, a blush brush for when a blusher is featured and so on. I have been using the brush for packing eyeshadow onto the lids as I personally don't like to use larger concealer brushes but more precise ones. As an eyeshadow brush this is really good quality, flexible and soft. 

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New CID Cosmetics i-gloss in Babydoll (full size - worth £16)
As a lover of New CID products this product was amazing to see in the JolieBox - especially as it is a normal wearable shade as well! Sadly this wasn't all a bed of roses for me, the reason you may see in the image and in my negatives below. But that aside this is a lovely gloss that isn't sticky and is such a nice shade, however I can't say I love the scent to it, subtle but a bit plastic-y. I know I couldn't purchase a New CID i-gloss for £16 however it is a lovely product to receive in the box. 

Mitchell and Peach Shower Wash (50ml sample) 
Samples of high end shower gels really don't float my boat so this was a bit of a 'meh' product for me so will probably just sit in a box until I decide to cast it off to someone. However even if I was into pricey shower gels I don't really get this product as this is actually a totally natural fragranced product (it definitely smells all organic) but then it goes and contains Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate which I wouldn't be wanting on my skin at all! 

Yon-Ka Vital Defense Intense Hydration cream (5ml sample)

Another rubbish-y sample here as I don't know anyone who would sample something that was only 5ml in size and then spend £40 on the full product. As this didn't suit my skin type I used this on the backs of my hands as a nice anti-ageing, hydrating treatment. So at least I got something out of it! 

Kusmi Detox Tea (20g miniature tin)
I'm never really sure why these beauty boxes think that organic/detox teas can come under the beauty category, but they do! This smells very lemon-y but nice. I will probably try it at some stage even though I don't drink teas but not something I would class as a 'deluxe beauty sample'.
 
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Positives 
Like previous Boudoir Prive boxes I have been impressed with the main bulk of the content and definitely think it is worth £12.95. I'm glad to see it's staying mainly cosmetic based as I find makeup a lot more fun compared to skincare as I just don't think these types of boxes can cater for so many different skin types. Also I really did like the addition of the Jolie Box Concealer brush as it was just a nice touch and I really do hope they keep that up even if it's just in every few boxes! 
 
Negatives
The only real negative falls with the New CID i-gloss which isn't the fault of the beauty box, however as it is a negative I thought I would ramble about it here! As you can see in the above image this is how I received the lip gloss with quite a rubbish brush and it doesn't seem I am the only one from talking to others on Twitter and reading reviews. The reason for this happening is that the opening of the tube is too small for the actual brush so it's basically a design flaw. Which when you are paying £16 for a product you really don't expect to happen.
Other than this I can't say I really have any negatives about the box expect for that I really don't love seeing 5ml samples in a box that states it provides 'deluxe beauty samples'. 
 
Overall I am hugely impressed by the first ever UK Jolie Box and hope they can keep this level of content up! 

Fee xo. 

Yes Love Nail Polishes!

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A bit of an annoying tease post today I'm sorry to say as these two lovely nail polishes where purchased whilst on holiday in Spain and aren't even available on eBay or anywhere online in fact - how annoying! So sadly this blog post is a little pointless if I'm honest.. unless you are going abroad or live in Spain.

However I just couldn't not share these with you as I really didn't expect to like orange glitter nail polish! I mean really. Orange glitter should not work... but oh, it does!

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Okay, so it's not very wintry, but ahhhh just look at it. It reminds me of glittery orange jelly shoes from when I was a child! The only down side has to be the smell though.. oosh this is seriously strong, think nail polish remover strong. 

I have a feeling it is one of those very cheap-y nail polishes that has a wonderful concoction of different chemical in, but ahh well!

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When I actually purchased this shade (Yes Love 631) in a strange little shop in Lanzarote one part of me was saying 'oooo glitter nail polish' and the other part was saying 'no, it's orange and tacky looking'... but the glitter side won and I'm glad it did as now I'm thinking I need to seek out some other orange glitter polishes!

As for application it is a normal three-coater but did take forever to dry as I did slap it on, however I was impressed with how neatly it applied. 

The other nail polish (Yes Love 89) I purchased was another I was a little unsure about as I'm almost sure it has gone off a bit as that black in the glitter was once clear I am sure!

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However this was only 3 euros and I plan to wear it over a black polish anyway, which I am sure will look really pretty! Over a nude or pale shade though I just don't think this would work as the clear polish just looks too murky and would discolour the base polish. 

On a side note... I think because I own quite a lot of nail polishes I have now started to get a bit bored with brands such as Revlon and 17. Which is why my eyes literally light up when I discover a new brand of nail polishes like this. My other recent discovery was the amazing Saffron glitter polishes that can be found on eBay (or on market stalls or so I have heard). But I now have my eyes on a few interesting looking shades on eBay by Etude House. 

If you can recommend any unique/international nail polish brands please let me know in the comments as I would love to start building up a more unique collection. 

Fee xo.

25 January 2012

The Big Skincare Mystery?

Big Skincare Mystery

Well, well, well, it's not everyday I receive an unbranded PR sample that intrigues me like this!

Meet the new high street 2-in-1 cleansing facial wash and 3 minute mask that will be revealed on March 1st.

Now I must admit it's no big mystery as after 5 minutes of searching online I'm 99% sure I know what the product is and I'm please to say it's well under the £5 mark. But unless you really want to know and beg me via twitter I'm keeping schtum as there are prizes to be won via the Big Skincare Mystery Facebook page (here). So I don't want to ruin it! Though ask me and I may give in as I HATE surprises and also hate keeping secrets! 

Anyway, onto the daily cleanser/mask which I actually tried out today as a face mask...

Big Skincare Mystery 01

The product itself seems on smell and appearance quite nice... no nasty synthetic/chemical smell unlike a lot of cleansers for spot prone/oily skin but quite a fresh, aloe vera/cucumber scent...which is rather pleasant.

As instructed I applied the cleanser/mask to wet skin and left it for 3 minutes. I was glad to see it wasn't a mask that set as I just cannot be doing with no speaking or smiling, even if it is only for three minutes! Plus I don't love that unnecessary tight feeling. However even though it didn't set at all, I could feel it slightly firming up and becoming more mask-like if that makes sense. After washing the mask off, my skin definitely felt clean (zero residue), with no redness and VERY smooth.

All in all quite a promising, non-over powering product that does seem quite suited to oily/problem skin with ingredients such as Kaolin and Salicylic acid (always good for the ol' spots!). 

If you do want to sample this product you can actually request a sample over on the Facebook page and there is also a chance of winning some lovely Topshop vouchers! 

Fee xo.

24 January 2012

After Christmas Spending!

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So it is just after Christmas (kind of) and I received everything I wanted and more, but for some reason January has been a month of me treating myself for some reason! 

However I'm not going to dwell on this or feel any guilt as it is just bad for the soul and done already! Well that is what I like to tell myself. So as I have accumulated a few nice items and some re-purchases I thought it was time for a bit of a 'haul' post. 

First, my star buy at only £2.50...

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... A miniature Denman hairbrush keyring!

Just what everyone needs. Okay, to be fair I wil probably NEVER be brushing my hair with this, I mean really, who would brush their hair with a bunch of keys hanging from it, tempting to get tangled in your hair - the idea was flawed to start with. But in emergencies I may resort to using it... who knows! 


But for me it's all about it being miniature! This isn't something I openly share with many people but I do have a love for anything small/miniature. You name it - if it's small I am bound to love it... Sylvanian Families, teeny tiny designer chairs, Monopoly pieces, dolls houses, the inside of snow globes and of course mini beauty products and perfumes. I could go on all day! So when I spotted this in Boots my eyes just lit up and I didn't even think about if I would use it as an actual brush or not.

Now I know not many Boots will stock this as I found it in a rather large store but you can purchase it from Denman on Amazon for only £2.50 with free p&p - here

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Next up was a bit of a naughty splurge but in my defence both items were in the sale, so I was being savvy! 

Now I will admit I'm not really a lover of lip gloss or lipstick (I say this yet own over 80 lip products!) however there is something that always draws me in. I think it must be a combination of most lipsticks having nice packaging and always wanting to find that perfect nude shade. 

I only own one Guerlain lipstick and love both the packaging and the shade, so when I saw a nice little clearance tray on the Guerlain counter I had to have a look and to my amazement the only products that haven't been mushed up or used were these two beauties. Okay, I'm now started to sound like I love lip products - though I guess my definition of not being a fan is still pretty obsessed to the average person!

I must say the Guerlain Kiss Kiss Gloss Extreme Shine in Pomme Du Desir 806 (£16.00 - Debenhams) does look like an odd choice/shade, however this is just such a different product for me. The shade is just so dazzling and unique and definitely doesn't apply with that green hue that is looks in the tube. I think this will look best over a bold red lip just sparingly dabbed along the cupids bow and also the middle of the bottom lip to really make the lips stand out. 

The Guerlain Kiss Kiss Baby Nourishing Lip Balm in Romantic Nude 260 (£21.00 - Debenhams) on the other hand is definitely a nice safe product that would suit anyone. This is actually more nude than it appears in the image and applies quite sheer as it is a lip balm after although it can be built up and is quite like a lipstick. You can definitely feel this is a high end product as it just apply so so well and keeps the lips from drying out. Really pleased with this! 
 
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As for re-purchases, I caved in and bought a new can of Batiste Brunette Dry Shampoo which even though it does the job it feels on a par with buying face wipes - but sometimes washing your hair can seem too much like a chore. I know it's not a product that is going to add any benefit to my hair and is only going to increase my laziness! 

Having said that, this is my favourite Batiste Dry Shampoo (£2.99 - Chemist Direct here or Boots/Superdrug) and cannot be faulted - except for the smell! 
I also purchased another bottle of Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 01 (the palest shade) as this really did impress me in 2011, as all Bourjois foundations do. I won't go into raptures about this as I really do think this deserves a full review but what I will say is that it is such a good quality foundation that performs more like a high-end foundation for a fraction of the price. You can find the foundation at Boots for £9.99 (here) and at the moment you receive a free full sized Bourjois mascara!

Last but not least I had to include my new favourite shoes! My first ever pair of Melissa Ballet Flats. I'm so pleased with these and love that they are scented (they smell of cupcakes!) like all the other Melissa shoes and have a lovely white heart at the back. I just know they will last me ages unlike so many other flats I have previously owned that have just worn down on the backs so quickly. For anyone interested here is the link to the shoes but I'm sure they will be on sale somewhere online!

Hopefully this hasn't been too boring and if you want to see swatches or a more detailed review on anything feel free to ask in the comments below. 

Fee xo.


21 January 2012

NOTD - Barbie Nails!

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So last week I was feeling oddly summery even though it was freezing cold and raining outside! But instead of wearing summer attire and freezing to death whilst looking like an idiot I decided to delve into my summer nail polish collection (yes I now divide my nail polishes into three boxes - nude & wintry shades, pastels & bright summery shades and special nail polishes & glitters!). Very organized I know! If only the rest of my life was like that.

Now a pastel nail polish would of probably been more appropriate for the wintry weather but I find pastel shades a bit wishy-washy against my pale skin in winter so only the really bright shades stood out to me!  

The shade I obviously went for was Gosh Neon Baby (£4.99 - Superdrug) which is a pretty bright pink that just reminds me of BARBIE! I can't say I still love Barbies or the whole Barbie look but I do definitely remember my suitcase of Barbie's very fondly - I literally loved them! 

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Anyway, so this was 100% the shade I was drawn to first and because it's quite Barbie-esque and I think it's a shade that you can get away with anytime and just look girly wearing it. As with all Gosh nail polishes this applies really well and also lasts well on the nails - just two not overly thick coats is enough! 

But as I was feeling summery and girly I decided to add a bit of glitter with the lovely Saffron Gold Speckles Nail polish that I purchased from eBay for only £2.19 (here) which I just love as it's such a pretty glitter and is actually good quality! I actually recommend the whole Saffron glitter range as they are just so lovely and different for the price. 

I feel the glitter did turn it from Barbie nails to quite Nicki Minaj-esque but still really pretty, fun and girly! 

This definitely isn't my usual style of nails but I really do love how it looks and will be wearing this a lot more especially once summer comes around again! 

Fee xo.
 


13 January 2012

Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review - Part 2

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Me again! 
So if you didn't read my last post (here) on the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette then I suggest you go read that - if not just for the pretty images of the palette! 

But today's post is a more of a 'making your mind up' post because I know that some people haven't tried either of the palettes but now want to purchase one after the release of the 2nd palette and quite a few people are umm-ing and arr-ing about purchasing Naked2 even though they are still really enjoying the original Naked palette. Oh the dilemmas of the beauty obsessed, hey?! 


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So what do you exactly get with each palette...

Naked eyeshadow palette (£35 - Debenhams here) - 12 x 1.3g UD eyeshadows, eyeshadow brush and a travel sized Eyeshadow Primer Potion. 
Naked2 eyeshadow palette (£36 - Debenhams here) - 12 x 1.3g UD eyeshadows, double ended eyeshadow brush and a travel sized Lip Junkie lipgloss. 

Like I mentioned in part 1 (here) I really don't get why Urban Decay would include a lip product with a palette that is purely just for the eyes - it makes no sense. So I definitely prefer the extras with the original Naked palette as the primer potion is SUCH a good product and it really is useful for all eyeshadows. 

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Naked eyeshadow palette

So I have had the Naked palette for over a year now and think it may have been my most used product of 2011! I literally used it so much and actually had to make an effort to use other eyeshadows. But this is not about how I use it. So here is why you may or may not like the original Naked palette.

Why you may love it - These are some seriously pigmented eyeshadows that apply so nicely with little fallout. There is are some great shades in the palette, such as - Sin ( a lovely highlight shade and so buttery feeling), Sidecar, Buck (great for brows), Smog and Toasted (this may be my favourite UD shade, ever). Quite a lot of the shades are warm toned so if you suit pigmented, rich, warm toned eyeshadows than this is definitely for you. However even though I personally suit cool-toned shades I found I could still enjoy most of the shades... though some of the darker shades are just too rich and pigmented for me. But if you love strong smokey neutral eyes then this palette would be perfect in achieving that. Also the included mini eyeshadow primer potion really does work and comes in very handy with all of the eyeshadows.


Why you may dislike it - The packaging if I am honest is just pants, just so impractical it's just silly. Firstly the packaging is flocked so it grabs hold of fluff and any makeup it comes into contact with and it you dare put this in your makeup bag the edges will start to show wear and tear pretty quickly. Also it's made from cardboard and only has a magnetic close to keep it from opening. So for the first week it will look lovely... but believe me, it doesn't last long. Now this may sound slightly odd but if you do have quite pale skin or only like subtle neutral shades than this palette may be to strong/rich for you... I sometimes find when using some of the shades for just a neutral everyday smokey eye it can look a bit too full on as the shades are so shimmery and pigmented - so I definitely enjoy using this more when going out at night.

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Naked2 eyeshadow palette  

This is just a sleek palette full of beautiful new shades, this is definitely more wearable for the day for me personally as the shimmery shades are more pearl than anything else, which I do prefer.

Why you may love it - This may be slightly more expensive than the original palette but this looks the business! The palette is well made, practical and durable with a bigger mirror and even the eyeshadows seem to be slightly more finely milled . There really are some lovely shades in this that are quite unique (I'm talking - Suspect, Pistol, Verve) and also some shades that can be used not just as eyeshadows, such as Bootycall makes a lovely highlighter, Blackout is great for using as liner on the upper lashline and if you are fair haired, Tease could be used to fill in your brows. There are also slighter less shimmery shades in this so if you want something more subtle for work or you just don't want to look too made up then this palette will be perfect.

Why you may dislike it -  You still have some of your deep, pigmented shades with this, such as - Half Baked, Snakebite and YDK but the whole palette seems just more neutral and subtle (which may be a good or bad thing depending on how you want to use it). However the two lighter matte shades don't give great pay off and are slightly chalky... really foxy just isn't that great at all. The free lipgloss whether you like the Lip Junkie range already may disappoint you as the packaging is just so rigid that it is actually hard to get the product out of the tube and because the product is so small the label on the tube is all wrinkled up even before you use it... just not really thought out. Plus surely the newer eyeshadow primer potion in Sin would of been nicer to include. 

But which is best?!

I'm going to be rubbish and say I just can't answer that as it all depends on your skin tone and what you want to use it for the most. For example I love that Naked2 is more cool toned on my pale skin but for someone with much darker skin to me the shades would be quite warm toned  - if that makes sense! But if you do want a more pigmented more shimmery palette I would go for the original Naked palette. 

As for if you need both palettes? Well that is basically like asking someone do they need more than one or two red lipsticks! Some people will say of course they do as there are so many different tones of red and some will say probably not - so it definitely comes down to which camp you are in! 

 I really hope this has been helpful! 

If you have any questions on either of the palettes feel free to ask in the comments below and I will try my best to answer them. 


Fee xo.

11 January 2012

Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review - Part 1

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Now I know the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette went on sale in the UK this week so I'm thinking this review may just get nestled in with all the other excited new palette owners writing about it.. and maybe I should of talked about it earlier, but I didn't so, oh well! 

BUT I'm writing about it now and I hope if you haven't purchased the Naked 2 palette already then my review will come in handy as I was actually one of the lucky people to receive the palette early from Urban Decay. So I have actually been using it for a good month and a half now and really feel it's review time!

Of course I can't talk about the Naked 2 palette without mention the original Naked palette, so it is going to be kind of a comparison review - which I really like as I get to be totally honest about both products and give my pros and cons to each!

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The price info about both Naked palettes...

The original Naked palette I found to be the cheapest on BeautyBay.com for £32 including free delivery (here)  but you can also purchase it from Debenhams.com for £35 (here), again free delivery if you want to get the points for your beauty club card. 

The Naked2 palette for the moment (well for a month) is exclusive to Debenhams, so if you want to purchase now you can find it there (well here) for £36.00... again with free delivery. 

*I must admit I don't love the price increase on the first palette as I remember when I purchase the palette last year it was £28 and I actually thought that was a fair price. Plus it also saddens me that the new Naked 2 palette is £1 more expensive for not much reason. Having said that though I do think the palettes are the best neutral eyeshadow palettes out there and if you do like your neutral then the price should go by the by if you want to purchase one or even both of the palettes. I just hope by 2013 we aren't seeing the prices creeping into the £40 mark.*

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So onto the Naked 2 palette...

What you get - 12 x 1.3g Urban Decay eyeshadows (3 matte, 9 shimmery - with 5 brand new exclusive shades). The palette also comes with a travel-size Lip Junkie lipgloss in Naked and a double ended Good Karma Shadow/Crease brush which is exclusive to the palette.

If you are just interested in the eyeshadows I'd suggest to skip to the next picture as I'm just going to ramble about the whole of the palette here! 

So first of all, I love the packaging! It is spot on, it is sleek, robust, wipe clean... and really just what the first palette should of been! The double-ended eyeshadow brush definitely comes in handy especially for travelling, but sadly the quality isn't that amazing it's not as soft as I'd of liked but it's nice enough. However the lipgloss... hmm hmm, I am wondering what Urban Decay were actually thinking when they included this with the palette. Now I personally don't love the Lip Junkie lipglosses so I haven't even used it properly, but even if I did... I would of much preferred an eye related travel sized product than a lip product... something like one of the newer eyeshadow primer potion or even a mini mascara would of done the job.  

A lipgloss just doesn't work for me with an eyeshadow palette, sadly! 

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Rubbish image... in real life the eyeshadows are actually warmer than this.

The Naked2 eyeshadow shades...

 I was tempted to include swatches but my temporary digital camera just isn't up to it, so here are some links to some really good swatches of the eyeshadows. 

Lipglossping swatches (pale skin tone) - here
Temptalia swatches (medium skin tone) - here
Vex in the City (darker skin tone) - here

Favourites - Booty Call (light but perfectly shimmery!), Suspect (chic and unique), Verve (just love this!) and YDK (so pigmented and a lot more loved that Half Baked).

Dislikes - Half Baked (already in original palette and just too heavy and too much fall-out) and Chopper (too much glitter!).

Yawns - Foxy (pale and boring), Tease (just a bit yawn-worthy) and Busted (too dark and just not my cup of tea).

Nice extra - Blackout (so pigmented & perfect for using as eye liner).

The quality of the 12 eyeshadows really doesn't been to be talked about much as they are the great quality you would expect from Urban Decay - soft, buttery, pigmented and just all round lovely. 

Now trying to put the original Naked palette out of my mind and not comparing the two at all I would say the Naked2 palette is a true neutral eyeshadow palette that has a good variety of shades and will be loved my anyone that does want a true neutral palette. However I'm not sure if 3 matte shades is enough as there are 12 shades after all... an extra one would of been nice I think. The eyeshadow that surprised me the most was Blackout which is a very black eyeshadow with the odd fleck of glitter (very subtle though) as I don't use darker eyeshadows, but this has been perfect for using with an angled liner brush at the roots of my lashes to make them look fuller and also are liner. You could even use this with a damp liner brush for a more pigment/intense effect.

The shades that stand out most for me are shades such as Suspect, Pistol, Verve... they are just true neutrals for me, nothing to over the top, just very wearable but also quite unique to this palette. Which is why I would stay it's worth the purchase really are they truly make the palette!

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I was going to thoroughly compare both palettes but this post is becoming quite lengthy now. So tomorrows post will be 'part 2' so I can ramble some more. As I think if you don't own either the original Naked palette or the Naked 2 palette or you are thinking of buying the Naked2 palette it's important you think about if you need it because 24 neutral eyeshadows is a lotta eyeshadows for anyone! 

My final thoughts on Naked2 (for now!)...

I am just so glad they got the packaging spot on this as if you are paying over £30 you do want something that is good quality and practical for every day use - so I'm very pleased on that front. I'm also pleased that they included 5 exclusive new shades but if I'm honest I would of liked more new shades (exclusive or not - I don't care) and even though Half Baked seems to be loved by many I don't think it needed to be featured in both palettes at all.

If you are a true neutrals lover that only wears neutrals day-to-day with £36 to spare (or to splurge!) then I would say get it, but expect to abandon all your other neutral eyeshadows for quite some time as this will be the only thing you reach for! 

Overall on first appearances Naked2 did seem a bit bland but I have now realised that, that is strangely the beauty of this palette... the shades a pigmented but subtle which is such a beautiful combination. 

Make sure to keep an eye out tomorrow for my full comparison of both Urban Decay Naked palettes! 

Fee xo. 

6 January 2012

Your Skin, Your Rules, Nivea's Treat!

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Today I want to talk about a great new campaign from NIVEA and also about skincare routines in general. 

A few products from NIVEA have featured constantly in my skincare ever since I can remember and actually it was from my mum, who also used these products, that I found myself using them. I have talked about them before in previous posts - they are the Oil -free Moisturising Day Cream SPF 8 and the Tinted Moisturising Day Cream in Natural and are both from the NIVEA Visage Daily Essentials range. For under £3.00 each these two products just cannot be faulted! 

The oil-free moisturiser is one of the only moisturisers that I can use every other day and it does not affect the balance of my oil-prone skin (because it's oil free and so light) which is great. Also the Tinted Moisturising Day Cream is perfect for me in summer on the days that I do want some coverage but don't want the weight of a foundation.
This leads me on to NIVEA’s own thoughts on their Daily Essentials line which basically just mirrors what I have been going on about. They get that we all have different lifestyle and don't stick to or need the whole cleanse, tone and moisturise routine any more. It's just about what works for you and selecting those products and using them! So the NIVEA tagline 'Your skin, Your rules' just makes total sense and also, in a way, takes the pressure off us consumers thinking we ideally need to buy a whole range of products for them to work! 

What is your routine like! Do you have time for a routine? Do you cleanse morning and night? Let me know!

Anyway, now on to the NIVEA treat and the lovely offer they are running at the moment! NIVEA also want to know about your skincare rules - whatever they may be. By heading to the NIVEA website and showing the NIVEA Daily Essentials product you use via a web cam or by typing in the barcode. Then all you need to do is write a bit of information on your own skincare to receive your instant free treat! Really quick and easy to do as well!

iStock_000012586776Small

The NIVEA Treats include...

 Dance Lesson for Two
 Dance lesson for two: Ceroc, jazz, latin, fusion... at over 270 venues across the UK.

Makeover and Photoshoot 
New ID Studios makeover and photo shoot: A professional hair, make-up
and photo session, plus take home free 5x7 prints.

Online Yoga Course for four weeks
 Online Dru Yoga course: Enjoy two free classes over four weeks, which
you can do as many times as you like in the comfort of your own home. 

All the treats must be redeemed by 31st May 2012 but are all totally free - which I think is just great!

I especially love the sound of the free makeover which you can actually do as a group booking of three, providing each person has a valid voucher, which would make a lovely day out! Also the Yoga course sounds great especially after Christmas to tone up and de-stress.

 Either way I highly recommend having a look at the site (here) and at the free treats from NIVEA!

*sponsored content*

To Save or Splurge on Magnetic Nails!

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To say I am late to magnetic nails is a slight understatement! But to be fair I have never been very keen on 'nail art' the easy way so I put off crackle nail polish when it first came out, only to later realise that I quite liked it... maybe. I'm basically very on the fence about nail polishes that give nail effects really as I enjoy creating my own nail art! 

But that aside I thought it was about time I tried magnetic nail polish and with receiving the Nails Inc offering of the magnetic trend from my sister at Christmas I thought it was definitely time to write a blog post giving my own thoughts on the now not so new nail look!

I also thought it would be good to compare two magnetic nail polishes with two very different price tags to see how they perform... I may also do this with crackle/shatter nail polish next week.

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17 Magnetized Nail Polish in Blue (10ml) - Available from Boots £5.99

So the cheap one first (well cheaper one first as £5.99 isn't that um, cheap really!). First impressions were that there wasn't very many instructions, WHICH I know sounds a bit dense of me to say... but the bottle has no images to show the results you can expect and it basically just suggests you paint your nails, hover the magnet over the nail until the magnetic effect appear. Now I may very well of been a bit of a simpleton here.. but that little ridge thing on the cap there - well I didn't figure out that it was for resting just below the cuticle until I had unsuccessfully done three nails and touched the wet polish with the magnetic. So I think it's fair to say that if I didn't instantly get what the odd little lip was for, then I'm sure other will do the same. 

I found one coat actually to be enough but it did apply too thick on some nails which meant the magnet actually pulled up the nail polish slightly (you can see below on my middle nail) and even though the process of painting my nails and then hovering over them with the cap was easy enough I did find I would do one nail quite well and then the next wouldn't really give the same effect.

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But overall it did the job and gave a magnetic effect and I do actually quite like the shade... I think I would prefer the grey one though for a more striking finish. 

One thing I really did like about this nail polish was that it only needs one coat so you can quickly paint them and hover over each nail and you are done! The only let down really is the price as 17 aren't really that pricey and I think £6 for a nail polish - magnetic or not, is slightly too steep. Would of been happy to see this at £4.99 really! 

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Nails Inc Magnetic Polish in Houses of Parliament - Available from Look Fantastic (here) £10.40
 
Onto the more pricey version! Now I am slightly going on about this but I was really pleased to see full instructions (they even mention what the lip on the cap is exactly for) and actual images of the results you could see with this. Also I instantly liked the shade, just slightly more chic and grown-up. Plus I think when it comes to magnetic nail polish the results maybe show up better the darker the shade - I may be wrong though!

 Application wise I followed the instructions and applied one coat and let it dry and then applied a second coat and used the magnet whilst they were wet. So slightly more time consuming than the 17 one but I think giving my nails one coat first gave a better finish and it definitely wasn't too thick unlike the 17 one seemed to be on a few nails. Also I did notice the magnetic did work better and quicker - which I really do think would be the point in spending that bit more... and then of course you have the magnetic cap and can use it with other cheaper magnetic polishes as it does seem to be a stronger magnet. Yes, I am rambling now!

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I definitely did make less mistakes with this polish and as you can see my nails do look neater but that could just be from learning how to use the magnetic cap properly?! 

I also liked the glossy finish to the Nails Inc polish and didn't think it needed a top coat, were as the 17 one was slightly too dull for my liking so I would of used a top coat if I had of kept it on (I removed it to apply the Nails Inc one). 

So which would I pick...

 This is a bit of a tough one as I like the effect of magnetic nails but know I wouldn't personally do it that often so for that reason I would chose the cheaper 17 version but maybe in a darker shade so the results were a bit more obvious. But if you really do like the effect then the Nails Inc Magnetic Polish wins hands down as the application is nicer and the results are just better - so it's worth the splurge. So no real winner... I'd just say it pretends on how much you like the trend!

One a side note... 

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I may be pointing out the obvious here...

It is worth noting that without using the magnet on the cap all magnetic nail polishes are basically standard nail polishes, which is great as it means you can get a lot more use out of them and all the shade that are magnetic are quite different and nicely metallic. 

Also the same applies to crackle or shatter nail polishes.. which I tweeted about last week and quite a few people seemed surprised at this! Basically the crackle effect is a chemical reaction when it coming into contact with the base nail polish that you are using. But it you apply crackle nail polish onto naked nails (so no nail polish on the nails at all) then the crackle nail polish just won't crackle at all, which means you can enjoy it as a normal nail polish are well as a crackle one!!
This is also good if you have bought a crackle nail polish and decided you don't like the effect or you just want to use it more than you would if just using it for the crackle effect! 

So hopefully that little tip is news to some of you and I'm not just pointing out the obvious!

Let me know how you feel about magnetic nail polishes.

Fee xo.
 

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