Tuesday, 28 July 2009

REVIEW - NYX Black Cherry

I'm loving NYX right now, everything I've tried by them has been great quality for a tiny price. I like their cute eyeshadow singles, wonderful blusher, and of course, their lipsticks. My favourite is Snow White, a vampy deep red with a slight brown undertone and I expected more of the same when I tried Black Cherry recently.

(L-R - NYX Black Cherry & Snow White)

I got the Round lipstick formula, which is a cheaper than their Black Label range but still brilliant quality. As I found with Snow White previously, the lasting power is pretty impressive, though I found Black Cherry wasn't as pigmented as Snow White was. It is a little bit more sheer, but that's OK.

For some reason, I thought the colours would be similar, but maybe darker in Black Cherry's case. And although Black Cherry was indeed darker in tone, Snow White looked much more bolder as a statement due to the great pigmentation and brighter shade.
Black Cherry is almost like a thick stain on your lips after eating far too many coloured cherries. the colour reminds me of the red inside the cherries (as the name suggests) but in lipstick form.

(L-R- NYX Black Cherry & Snow White)

I did like this lipstick, but for me, there wasn't enough red in it. It looked slightly too berry/purple on me, which is a shade I can get in many drugstore brands.Though if you are after a dark berry red, this is a cheaper and better bet than other drugstore brands as the quality and price are so much better.

I look forward to trying more NYX round lipsticks, I'm very interested in Hebe and Electra; 2 other reds. It's a shame NYX isn't available in the UK, their quality is great and it isn't fair that Wet'n'Wild, another US brand, is available and I haven't been impressed with their products at all.
NYX, you need to do something about this as the Brits would love your brand!


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

OTHER - Cherry Coca Cola Lip Smacker by Bonne Belle

Hi, I'm back! Had a great time and have just about recovered despite having got home on the 1st of the month! Back to reality now, with work and uni dominating my life.
Because of this, I've not had time to review a red lipstick, especially as lipstick wearing is seen as a winter pastime. Maybe next time though, and if you go to the links on the right hand side, theres plenty of past reviews of red lippies to keep you going!

However I did feel the need to share my latest obsession with you - Bonne Belle's Lip Smackers!

For those outside of the US (like me), you may be fairly unfamiliar with Lip Smackers, but I hear they are quite a phenomonom in the States. They basically look like your average lip balm stick - but the flavour is not so average. They are in a huge variety of flavours, including some bog standard flavourings, and then stuff like Skittles flavours!

I haven't tried many of these but I did just receive some soft drink ones; Coca Cola, Cherry Cola, and Barq's Root Beer (above, L-R) through the post. The Barq's Root Beer one is a light brown (though I assume it'd apply clear), and the standard Coca Cola one is a darker brown than the Root Beer one, and it sort of enhances the pink in your lips somehow.

The one I am interested in most is the Cherry Cola one though because, yes you've guessed it, it's red! Well, it's a pinky red, like most red tinted lipbalms but it has the most amazing fragrance.
It really does smell of cherry coke and despite the fact I don't really like drinking real cherry coke (taste of it is too overpowering and sickly), I do love the smell of it so this is a great way to come across the scent without having to drink gallons of the stuff.

It's not just a silly gimmick though, it actually works really well at the job it's been given. It is really moisterising without getting too greasy like some lipbalms, particularly cosmetic ones, are. Lasting power is as good as lipbalms get, with eating and drinking being a problem, but this isn't all bad because you can keep reapplying it to experience the scent again!

If you can get your hands on this, I would reccomend it. They are widely available in the US but you can occasionally get them on Ebay if you are in other countries. The regular Cola one is divine too.
But for the rosey red lipped look, Cherry Cola is the way forward and it really picks you up during a hard day at work. Its also good underneath lipsticks to stop your lips drying out, so remember to pop it in your handbag along with your favourite red lipstick!


Sunday, 21 June 2009

OTHER - Festival make up

I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks or so because I'm going to Glastonbury Festival, the biggest music festival in the UK and possibly Europe! I'm backpacking around some of southern England beforehand, so will be absent for a while. I hope to commit to the blog as much as I can when I return, as long as work doesn't get in the way.

Before I leave, I thought I'd do an article on festival make up. I know festivals are meant to be laid back events where it shouldn't matter what you wear and what you look like, I sure don't give a damn, but sometimes people like to try at least look alive after a few days of dirt and no sleep!

If you are trying to avoid looking more tired than you are, don't wear dark eyeshadows. Smokey eyes may look amazing on a night out, but you will look far too overdone for a field. They will also draw attention to any undereye shadows or puffy eyelids you may have.

Try using lighter eyeshadows;
pale purples, pinks, greens and silvers will wake your eyes up. Those with a significant yellow undertone should try light gold shades too.
Powder eyeshadows will not last very long though so either invest in a good primer, or go for cream eyeshadows for staying power. Both Avon and Maybelline have stick eyeshadows that are creamy and claim to be long lasting, and Benefit's creaseless cream shadows (above) are good if you don't mind taking an extra make up brush to apply it.

For undereye circles, invest in a
good concealer in a cream formula that matches your skintone. I use Benefit's Lemon Aid, which hides discolouration/puffiness on eyelids and also cancels out the purple in undereye circles too. It is quite yellow though so may only be suitable for those who have a yellow undertone.

Eyeliner is up to you, as long as you try keep it natural or go for a smudgey rock chick look. Bright colours will liven up your face too, if you dare.

You may be shocked as this is the focal point of this blog, but keep away from lipstick! Again, it will look OTT, you should try go for a natural look as much as possible. I would suggest you wear a
lipbalm with SPF, I like the strawberry flavoured Chapstick, which has SPF15 (above).

There are many other lipbalm sticks available with SPF, but try avoid the tins like Vaseline (which I adore usually) as dipping your finger in constantly isn't very hygenic during a weekend of dirt, minimal washing and lack of running water.

A nice blush can wake up your face, even if you wear no other make up.
Cream blushes are longer lasting in this sort of enviroment but I don't like them, so a personal favourite of mine is Milani Luminous minerals blush, which is only $6 USD in US drugstores.

It is a dupe of the lovely NARS Orgasm blush, which works for a lot of people and lasts for ages. I don't like taking expensive things camping so went for the Milani blush, which is still fairly impressive. Some people don't like the shimmer in it, but it really does wake your face up.
Because it is a light peachy pink, it probably won't work for those with a darker skintone though, but I do reccomend a peach/pink blush for natural colour and to make your face look that little bit more perkier.

It's best to
leave the foundation and any other products at home though - you don't want to spend ages getting ready in the morning. Also, you will need to apply suncream A LOT, especially if the sun is shining brightly, so the last thing you want is to have to reapply make up after every time you do this.

I would suggest the most you'll need is a concealer, spf lipbalm stick, blush, eyeshadow/primer, eyeliner, and some suncream of course. And maybe some blotting paper/powder if you are very oily as you will have to deal with sweat too. Try keep it natural, if you overdo it you'll just look like a lightweight! You can always hide behind sunglasses if you look that bad anyway.

But try to travel light and not carry tonnes of cosmetics as you probably won't care about your appearance as much after a while anyway, just try to
remember to apply suncream every 2-3 hours and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydrating your skin and yourself.
But remember to let go, leave all your usual tidy traits at the gate and enjoy yourself!


Thursday, 11 June 2009

REVIEW - NARS Flamenco - sheer red

Sorry again for more silence - I am very busy this month so won't be able to update this as much as I'd like to. But today, after the very bold reds I have reviewed recently, I will do my 1st lone lipstick review for the very pretty NARS Flamenco (below).

Flamenco is a cool-toned sheer red, though a very pigmented one, but quite rightly so as NARS is so expensive! It is a brighter red than the slightly more plum NYC Sheer Red lipstick, which I reviewed a few months ago, but both are quite similar. It's described as a candy apple red on the NARS website, which I think is an accurate description.

Although it is a sheer color, it can be built up for a more dramatic look at night if you find full-on reds too much. For girls who love full-on shades at night, you may want to think about investing in this if you want to transfer some glam into your day/job as it is a very flattering red stain. If you apply gentley, it may also look nice with dark smokey eyes for that edgy look.

(L-R - NARS Flamenco and NYC Sheer Red)

The only problem as far as I am concerned is the high price, I can understand why it would be expensive for a sheer colour (£17 GBP).

If the price does worry you, try NYC (New York Color) and their very good Sheer Red shade as it is only £3 in the UK from Superdrug, and possible even cheaper in the US. As I mentioned earlier, the shades are very similar but NYC has a slightly darker/plum tone to it than Flamenco, but you'll find the pigmentation is quite good.


Sunday, 31 May 2009

REVIEW - NYX Snow White and NARS Cruella

It's a Snow White themed battle between high end vs. low end today as luxury brand NARS goes up against US drugstore cheapie NYX.

I have managed to get my hands on a NARS velvet matte lip pencil in Cruella (below, right), which costs about $25 in the States and a NYX round lipstick in Snow White (below, left) which is under $5 in good US drugstores, I think.

I got a NYX 'Snow White' round lipstick from Ebay for about £5 GBP including delivery from a US seller, which is still not a price to be grumbled at. I hear these are regularly on sale so you can try out all the other colours to your heart's content without breaking the bank. I am going to review Black Cherry in the future so keep your eyes out for that, and I recommend their cute blushes to everyone.

Snow White looks quite brown when swatched (see photo below, it is on the left) but applies deep scarlet red. It does have a slight brown undertone that darkens it, but the brown isn't really very noticeable and gives it a very blood red look.

I was very surprised by the quality of this lipstick - despite the bargain price (for US customers anyway), it is very pigmented, creamy, and long lasting.
Although it did look like a lot had transfered onto cups and glasses I was drinking from, the color did not fade from my lips all night, despite it being a warm night. I'm thinking maybe I put too much on, so I reccomend you to not go too mad with this as it is already very pigmented.

I didn't notice any obvious feathering or bleeding into the lines of my lips either, which is common with red lipsticks, this surprised me as I didn't have time to put lipliner on either!

(L-R - NYX Snow White, NARS Cruella)

Although it is described as a lip pencil, don't mistake NARS 'Cruella' velvet matte lip pencil for a lipliner as it certainly isn't. It's a jumbo sized crayon that is supposed to act like a long lasting matte lipstick, so maybe 'lip crayon' would have been a more appropriate moniker.

When applied to the lips, the colour is not too dissimilar to Snow White - Cruella is also a deep scarlet red. It doesn't have the slight brown undertone to it though, I would say the undertone is slightly berry in Cruella. It is maybe half a shade lighter than Snow White too, but this is more to do with the formula I reckon.

Cruella is also pigmented, but because it is essentially a big soft lip pencil, you have to layer it if you want it really bright and deep. Snow White is a creamy lipstick, so you can just swipe one layer and you are done. Cruella is also very long lasting but doesn't transfer onto cups as much due to the matteness.


(Top L-R - NYX Snow White, NARS Cruella. Bottom - MAC Viva Glam)

Conclusion - Depending on your budget, both the lipsticks are a pretty good dupe of eachother. As I said, both are a similar deep darkish scarlet red on the lips, though where Snow White has a very slight brown undertone, Cruella has a very slight plum undertone.

They are quite similar to my favourite red - MAC's Viva Glam 1, which seems to be a cross between both of the lipsticks. If you look at the above photo, Viva Glam is on the bottom. It has slight brown undertones like Snow White, but is maybe a shade lighter than it and more matte.
I like to wear Viva Glam most nights I go out as it is a lovely bright red on me, but if I am looking for a change and channelling the inner glamorous vamp in me, I would pick Snow White and Cruella as they are a bit darker and different.

I do love both though, the colors are gorgeous, deep, and vampy and you are bound to take centre stage if you dare wear these. Though for the sake of saving money during the reccession, I reccomend you try NYX Snow White first as it won't break the bank and is of high quality.


Tuesday, 26 May 2009

OTHER - Eyeko Strawberry Fat Balm and 3 in 1 Cream

Another distraction from red lipsticks, I am delving into my dealings with kooky British company Eyeko. They claim to be inspired by Japanese culture and have come up with this cute range of fat balms (suitable as a lip balm and cream blush), 3 in 1 face creams, eyeshadows, nail polishes, and much more.

Just because it's in the UK, I wouldn't put off trying this brand out as postage is currently free worldwide!! I don't know if it's going to remain this way seeing most the items are £5 GBP and postage is usually about half of that, so make the most of this offer at www.eyeko.com.

Sticking with lips, I got the Strawberry Fat Balm which looks like a muted pink/red in the tube, but applies less pigmented and would probably boost natural pinky lip colors. I think the Raspberry one is supposed to be more red but I have yet to test it out.

I do like the strawberry one though, it's really moisterising and doubles up as a sheer creme blush (which I haven't tried yet as I prefer powder blushers), meaning its versatile and great for when you don't have much space in your bag. It would be great under drying lipsticks (like many of the ones I have reviewed on here) and has a lovely soft scent.

It is also available in the mentioned raspberry flavour and also mint, which is a irridescent shade of pink.

The 3 in 1 cream claims to be a moisteriser, highlighter and eye cream. While I agree it is a great highlighter, I don't suggest you use it straight from the tub as a moisteriser as it is very thick and sticky.

If you do want to use it allover your face, I would use a pea sized amount of the cream and mix it in with your usual moisteriser in the palm of your hands. As it is quite thick and can set very quickly, I'd swish it around in your palms until it has fully mixed, but you have to be quick with it. It leaves a gentle gold shimmer on your face that isn't stupidly glittery, just glowy.

There is also a bronzing version of the cream for those who prefer tanned looking skin! As well as being on sale worldwide via www.eyeko.com, Eyeko items can also be purchased at Superdrug in the UK.


Thursday, 21 May 2009

REVIEW - MAC Red and Kanga Rouge

Sorry for the short silence again, things keep popping up and preventing me from reviewing. Back to lipsticks now after my last review was on lipglosses, I want to stay true to the title of this blog while popping in other things inbetween.


This review is on a permanent MAC lipstick and a recent limited edition one. The permanent being MAC's self titled MAC Red (below left), and the limited being Kanga Rouge (below right), from the Dame Edna range earlier this year.

MAC Red is a lipstick of mixed reviews on Makeupalley: some say it's their perfect red and I can see that it's a lovely vivid blue-red colour in the tube as well as a lovely formula (satin).

However, others (like me) have noticed how it turns a bright fuschia pink on their lips.
I have a cool yellow undertone to my skin, so maybe this affects it, I don't know, but this is one of the popular permanent reds with the highest amount of people complaining it has turned pink on them, so beware - try before you buy.

Kanga Rouge isn't for the faint hearted - a shiny, bright blue-toned red, perfect for show offs who want to be centre of attention like Dame Edna Everage herself.

It reminds me of those bright red rose petals as it has a hint of pink in it, but a good amount of pink, not like the overbearing pink tone that MAC Red has on many people. On me, it doesn't look too pink but I do find it's formula rather shiny as I prefer mattes.

(L-R, MAC Red and Kanga Rouge)

Conclusion - People who dislike the dryness of matte lipsticks will love either of these 2 as they both have moisterising properties to them and shouldn't dry your lips out too much. Especially Kanga Rouge was is incredibly shiny compared to MAC Red's silky formula.

This means that neither last as long as mattes, in particular Kanga Rouge's lasting power isn't too good as it's a cremesheen formula and I find cremesheen's never last very long. MAC Red's isn't too bad but compared to mattes like Ruby Woo, Russian Red, and Viva Glam, it loses in terms of how long it stays on.

I definitely suggest those wanting to try out MAC Red to try before you buy as it turns pink on soooo many people. I don't think the colour is unique really as drugstore brand reds also turn too pink like MAC Red does.
Kanga Rouge has pink tones but I have never seen it turn too pink on me, though i suggest you wear it with a true red lipliner to stop it fading pink, which I think may happen. If you like glossy reds, then Kanga Rouge is for you.


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Tutorials and articles on red lips

Despite making my own guide to wearing red lipstick, I have never said I was an expert on make up, far from in fact. So I've decided to shoo you in the direction of people who know more than me!

These are all tutorials/articles that I watched, loved, then followed the advice of, so I hope you like them as much as me:

Video tutorials

1) Dita Von Teese inspired tutorial - by Lauren Luke aka panacea81

2) Christina Aguilera inspired tutorial - by Marlena aka makeupgeek

3) Anne Hathaway inspired tutorial - by Lauren Luke aka panacea81

4) Sexy Pirate tutorial -
by Marlena aka makeupgeek

5) Retro christmas tutorial
- by Marlena aka makeupgeek



Monday, 11 May 2009

OTHER - NYX Red Sparkle/Plush Red lipglosses, MAC Cult of Cherry lipglass

I know some of you out there prefer lipglosses to lipsticks. I am not one of these people as I find them too sticky (my hair gets stuck in it, yuck) and I prefer my lips to be matte or near enough matte.

But today I have decided on a US friendly article, concentrating on cheap-as-chips drugstore brand, NYX.
The colours I will be looking at are blue toned cherry reds and my point of reference will be MAC's limited edition lipglass in Cult of Cherry. It's the only lipgloss I have ever bought (apart from those silly cheap things you buy aged 13/14) and rarely for me, I do love the color.

The two NYX lipglosses I am going to talk about were sent to me in a swap from a very kind girl in the US. I was too grateful to tell her I actually don't like lipgloss and kept them as the colours were too beautiful. Now, I can finally put them to good use.

First of all, I want to describe MAC's Cult of Cherry lipglass (above). It's a gorgeous rich cherry red color, almost pearly in tiny self-red shimmer. When I say shimmer, I don't mean glitter or sparkle, it is a bit of shimmer that isn't really noticeable when on your lips.

It is very pigmented so can be worn alone, but it can turn a bit pink so I prefer it with either red lipstick or lipliner underneath. But I recommend using lipliner, whatever red lipgloss you are wearing - it stops it from bleeding as much and gives the colour a bit more of a punch.

It turns it into the perfect red shade for me, a red with a slight pink tone but not TOO pink, like most cherry reds turn on me. My favourite look with Cult of Cherry is MAC Viva Glam 1 lipstick underneath it.

Sticking with the shimmer factor is NYX's Diamond Sparkle Lipgloss in Red Sparkle (above). As you can see from it's name, it is more sparkly than the shimmery tones of Cult of Cherry, but again, no glitter thankfully. It is slightly less of a rich red, possibly due to the sparkles being silver.

Lastly, NYX's Goddess of the Night Mega Shine lipgloss in Plush Red #126 (above) is darker than both of the previous lipglosses I have spoken about and also has no sparkle or shimmer at all. Well, when I say 'darker', it is a tiny bit darker than Cult of Cherry but not by that much. There is a slight purple tone to it.

(Pic 1 - in natural light / Pic 2 - with flash. L-R Cult of Cherry, Red Sparkle, Plush Red)
Click to see larger images

Coming up - Some future lipstick reviews I hope to do soon will include NYX Snow White, NARS Cruella, Benefit Flirt Alert, and finally Maybelline Empire Red with any luck.
I am also going to do an article on dupes of the cult classic NARS Orgasm blush (or blusher as it is called in the UK).

Thanks for reading! Elle X

Saturday, 9 May 2009

REVIEW - Bourjois' Lovely Rouge collection - #15 Rouge Best & #17 Rouge Allie

Sorry for the delay in updates, I've been quite busy recently.

I have been considering throwing in the odd review on other make up products I have used because sometimes, there is only so much you can say about red lipstick.
I will keep the main aim of this blog as red lips though, so don't worry red lovers. I will put all entries under certain tags which can be accessed from the bar on the side so you can find products easily.

My new review is of discontinued shades again, sorry. I am testing 2 of Bourjois' 'Lovely Rouge' collection. However, I still see these hanging around discount drugstores/cosmetics shops in the UK so all you Brits may bump into one if you look hard enough. If not, Ebay.co.uk occasionally has them for fairly good prices.

(L-R Bourjois Rouge Best and Rouge Allie)

For a bright red, I reccomend #15 Rouge Best of the Lovely Rouge collection, which is a blue toned red but applies fairly true red on my NC27 yellow toned skin.

I have read reviews where people have felt this shade has looked too harsh or unflattering, which may be the case on very pale girls or tanned/dark skinned girls, but I believe on light-meduim skin, it has the potential to look lovely and retro.

#17 Rouge Allie is a darker and slightly brown toned red. It's a less in-your-face shade than Rouge Best, but remains fairly bright red and much more glamorous and sophisticated than the previous colour. I can imagine it is flattering to most people whether you're pale, dark, cool or warm toned.

The only thing I have against Rouge Allie is the smell - it has a slight chemical smell to it that Rouge Best doesn't have for some reason. So if you are sensitive to smells in your make up, you may have to pass on this certain shade.

EDIT --- Forgot to mention, my friend who is a muted redhead borrowed this lipstick and the rusty undertones looked GREAT on her! So any natural red, ginger, or auburn haired ladies who have been struggling to find suitable reds, seek this out and give it a go!

(L-R Bourjois Rouge Best and Rouge Allie)

Conclusion - I like the colours of both these lipsticks, both are quite different reds from one another, but I think Rouge Allie is the most universally flattering of the two. It's a shame the chemical smell could put people off as it's a nice colour. The pigmentation is pretty good for a drugstore lippie, too.

I think the thing that lets the whole Lovely Rouge range down is the lasting power - both are slightly matte lipsticks that are dry (wearing lipbalm underneath will help), yet unlike most matte lip colors I have tried, these don't seem to last very long. If eating or drinking, you may need to reapply every 2 hours or so.

I suppose for a drugstore brand, thats not bad going for the price, but I was just surprised as matte lipsticks usually last all night. I think both should be tried if you are looking for your perfect red though, they're cheap and are great colours.