Posted on November 10, 2014 under Reviews
Let’s all be honest with each other here for a moment (and eternity).
There are products that circulate around the beauty blogging and vlogging community all at once, and you know they were comped and maybe sponsored. And bloggers post pictures of them and maybe not even swatches (and certainly not any looks with the products), and they’re never mentioned again.
I don’t like this.
First of all, it’s lazy. If you get sent hundreds of dollars worth of lipstick for free and your job is YouTube, I feel like lip swatches are the bare minimum. Yet nobody does this!
Second of all, it’s disingenuous. Don’t pretend you weren’t comped products, then barely use them, then act as if we should spend ACTUAL MONEY on them. Because there’s a difference between “I was given this for free and it’s passable considering I didn’t have to pay for it” and “I purchased this with my own money and I feel that it was worth the price”.
Like, good for you that you received 10 full-sized high-end lipsticks for free, but sometimes the best review comes from someone who went out and plopped down £23 of their own cash.
So. Yes. I bought a Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick. This was on the recommendation of Aisling, who has one and loves it.
This is the most expensive lipstick I have ever purchased by the equivalent of $12.50, which is enough to buy me two Rimmel lipsticks. So you know that if I work for 4 hours to be able to afford a single lipstick, I am going to expect it to be flawless in every conceivable way.
I got the colour Red Carpet Red, a true red that leans a bit on the cool side. I chose it mostly because it seemed like the most versatile and I think that it’s important to get a lot of wear out of a $41 lipstick, but also because I think that having a red lipstick in fancy packaging is possibly one of the most gratifying material experiences a person can ever have. Even if you’re not a red lipstick person!
Gorgeous textured rose gold packaging aside (and it is truly, decadently beautiful), how does this lipstick perform?
First of all, it applies like an absolute dream. It feels like a balm on the lips, even though it’s very pigmented and definitely matte. It goes on so smoothly and doesn’t accentuate any dryness. I love the shape of the bullet itself: the straight edge makes it easy to get a perfect, crisp lip line even without a brush.
As for wear, this lipstick is practically indestructible. The first time I wore it out, I had a full day in London including two meals and plenty of drinks. (Normally when I go out for drinks I submit myself to the fact that my lipstick will probably get messed up, but not this time.) There was minimal fading on the very inside of my lower lip after I ate, but even if I hadn’t touched it up I don’t think I would have looked noticeably weird wandering around!
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Red Carpet Red just after application, and after 5 hours and a messy meal. It could use some minor touch-ups in the center of the lower lip, but nothing serious, and no feathering whatsoever! Plus, it still feels great – not dry or flaky.
Is this lipstick a splurge? Definitely. Am I sorry that I spent my own money on it? Not at all. It’s certainly not an essential item, but if you’re in the mood for a fancy and gorgeous lipstick I would absolutely recommend one from the Matte Revolution line. My only complaint is that the colour selection is fairly limited – most of the colours are either dark, vampy cold weather colours (which I do love) or very similar shades of peachy/browny/pinky neutrals.
Charlotte Tilbury Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks retail for £23 ($41 CAD) for 0.12 oz, or £191.67 ($341.67 CAD) per oz, and can be purchased from Charlotte Tilbury counters at Selfridges or online from CharlotteTilbury.com.
Posted on November 06, 2014 under Reviews
This weekend while in Brighton, something possessed me to pick up a pair of Tanya Burr false eyelashes despite the following two facts:
- I am not a big falsie wearer – they’re a hassle, generally not super comfortable, and look too dramatic for my day-to-day life!
- I’m not Tanya Burr’s biggest fan.
However, I didn’t bring my very small lash collection over to the UK with me in September, so I thought I might as well buy a pair just in case I needed them. Plus, I suppose my curiosity about Tanya’s line got the better of me.
I selected the “Everyday Flutter” style, because I thought half lashes would be easier to apply and more wearable for an everyday context.
Now, I was not expecting to be impressed. I mean, I didn’t think I’d hate them, but I thought that they’d just be another set of lashes.
Because it’s my style to reveal my conclusion near the beginning of the post: I love these lashes. Yes, I used the L-word. (No, not lesbian. Or lesbians.)
In case anyone was wondering, other eye makeup: Burnout and Darkside from the Naked 3 Palette, Stila Stay All Day liquid eyeliner, Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes mascara.
These half lashes are fairly long, with thin criss-crossing lashes that do make for a fluttery effect. Although they’re long, the fact that they’re not very voluminous makes them very wearable for daytime. I mean, I’m sure people know that my eyelashes aren’t naturally that good, but I don’t think they look out of place if I wear them to class to test-drive them.
Not only do they look great, they feel wonderful. Actually, they feel like nothing. At one point during my lecture, I was convinced they’d fallen off since I felt absolutely nothing. Nope – still on. Just super comfy.
I did find them easy to apply, probably thanks to the fact that they are half lashes. There’s no inner corner to tuck – that’s what always gets me! Also, the glue that comes with it is really nice. Normally I toss the glue included with lashes since it always sucks and I have my trusty Duo, but Tanya’s glue is the perfect consistency and has a little applicator that makes it easy to apply directly and accurately onto the band. Plus, it’s shimmery – what’s not to love? The glue holds very well and dries clear, which is always nice. (A bit of eyeliner to hide the seam is still a good idea, though!)
My own lashes (with mascara) on top; Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter lashes on bottom.
I can’t speak for the ease of application or comfort of the full strips, but I am so impressed (and surprised!) with the quality of the half strip. Next time I’m in the market for lashes I might just have to try another set in Tanya’s range.
Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter false eyelashes retail for £5.29 ($9.65) at Superdrug.
Posted on October 30, 2014 under Reviews
I was on vacation in upstate New York this July when I stumbled upon the newly-launched Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish. Being the type of person whose nail polish seems to chip within an hour of drying, I was intrigued. Could there actually be a DIY manicure that doesn’t involve any type of UV lamp that lasts two weeks?
That would be a hearty no.
In fact, the Miracle Gel nail polish is essentially the product of good marketing. You see, according to Sally Hansen, this is a two-step process. Step One is a base coat and nail polish in one. Step Two is the top coat, which is activated by natural light. Sally Hansen insists that these two steps must be used in conjunction with one another. So, essentially, Sally Hansen is able to guarantee an initial purchase of two products, totalling at about $20 CAD.
This sucks for the consumer not only because, well, you have to drop twenty bucks to use this product, but because if you want OMG miracle nails you only have 45 shades to choose from. I mean, that’s probably an average-sized nail polish range, but what if I told you that you could get OMG miracle nails in an unlimited colour palette?
Yes. That is a thing. Because while the Miracle Gel top coat definitely doesn’t last the advertised 14 days, it is a really good top coat. It makes my nails very shiny (as promised), and it certainly does make my nail polish last longer than it would on its own or with any other top coat I’ve tried. Yes, including Seche Vite (which I actually don’t like that much).
With this top coat, my nails go an easy 6-8 days without any chipping, and then another 3-4 with very minimal chipping. This is a long time for me, and it’s very convenient since I am lazy about my nail polish and tend not to take it off more than once a week, meaning I can continue to be lazy but not have nails that broadcast this fact to the world. Revolutionary! Thank you, Sally Hansen, for making me look like a competent and well-groomed adult!
So, what am I saying here?
The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat is a product that, in my opinion, is worth the ten bucks it costs.
It is also a product that can be used over any nail polish (that I’ve tried, at least) with excellent results.
Therefore, you definitely do not need to buy both the top coat and the colour. You do not need to limit yourself to the colours in Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel range, although there are some very nice colours so don’t feel like you shouldn’t buy them if you like them.
This product is a lot of marketing (read: hype) with a not insignificant dash of impressive performance. At this point, I would say the top coat is my HG. I do have to deduct points for the bullshit marketing, and will therefore conclude that the top coat is a holy grail surrounded by a layer of hype.
Day 6 of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat over Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish in Sugar Fix. (Ironically, I found the top coat performed the worst over the step one it was meant to be used with. It got quite dull after a few days, which I didn’t experience with other polishes.)
Day 6 of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat over Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Kiwi. (This was the most chipping I experienced in all my trials!)
Day 7 of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat over Wet N Wild Fastdry nail polish in Ebony Hates Chris.
Day 7 of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat over Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear nail polish in White On.
Day 6 of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat over Joe Fresh nail polish in Lavender.
Day 6 of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat over Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear nail polish in Coin Flip.
… So, yeah, clearly the “miracle” thing isn’t an exaggeration.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat retails for $10.99 CAD for 0.5 fl oz, or $21.98 CAD per fl oz.