Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Chanel Quadra Eyeshadow in Lilium - swatches and review

I'm the first to admit that Chanel eyeshadows are not my favourite. I find the quads too powdery for my liking and nothing really compares to Le Metier shadows, but I sometimes find the colour selections in their quads difficult to resist. On my first trip to the counter to see the Summer Collection I resisted, but then Lisa Eldridge did a video tutorial on the Chanel Confidential website using Lilium and my resolve weakened. If you have anything from the Summer Collection Lisa's video is well worth checking out as she puts a lovely look together, as always.
Chanel Quadra Eyeshadow in Lilium
I would love one day to try one of the American Chanel quads as I keep hearing the formula is very different, and far superior to the European baked style. For now though, I'll have to make do. The shades all have some shimmer to them and are a deep emerald green, mid tone mink, very pale lime green and a light pink. A very pretty combination, but what drives me mad is that they apply so sheer. I have just swiped them with my finger and the colours almost disappear. For the price, the quality should be a lot better.

It seems such a shame that what look like beautiful colours in the pan fade away to powdery nothingness on the skin. A lot of thought must go into colour selection, so I don't understand why they can't put the same thought into the product formulation.

To show you the colours in the swatches I have applied wet and dry side by side, one photo taken in ordinary light, the other in sunlight. I love the look of the wet swatches and would be thrilled if this was how they looked when applied dry, if that makes sense! I have never had to use my Le Metier or Rouge Bunny Rouge eye colours wet to get that level of intensity so don't see why I should have to with Chanel.

Left to right: Light Green wet, dry, Mink wet, dry, Emerald Green wet, dry, Pale Pink wet, dry
Left to right: Light Green wet, dry, Mink wet, dry, Emerald wet, dry, Pale Pink wet, dry (photo taken in sunlight)
I'm afraid I can't recommend this palette because getting a good result from it is too much like hard work in my opinion, and I expect more for my money. Once again I have been drawn in by pretty colours, only to be disappointed and out of pocket.

The Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow in Lilium is limited edition and costs £37.

Finally just a little apology for my lack of replying to comments on my own blog and leaving comments on others, Blogger just won't let me sign in properly and allow me to comment at all. The moment it does I will be back commenting away as I really do appreciate people taking the time to do so and equally I like to support posts on other blogs that I've found interesting and useful. Hopefully Blogger will sort itself out soon.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Chanel Nail Polish in Morning Rose - swatches and potential dupes

Although much of the focus of Chanel Summer 2011 has been on the vibrant yellow of Mimosa, my pick is definitely Morning Rose. One of three nail polishes released, it is far more flattering but maybe less fashion forward.

Left to right: Chanel Morning Rose, Chanel Mimosa, both £17.50
Although at first glance Morning Rose looks like your average baby pink, to my eye it is more special than that. I am not the only one, as this shade was the first to sell out at my local counter. It is a warm mid-rose pink with the merest hint of gold micro glitter running through it. I needed 3 coats to get a fully opaque finish but along with a top coat of seche vite, it hasn't chipped in a week.

3 coats of Chanel Morning Rose applied + Seche Vite top coat
 I thought I was have numerous colours across brands that were similar to this, but finding a dupe was harder than I thought. The ones I looked at were either much cooler pinks or leaned too coral. The nearest I found was Leighton Denny's Hepburn. This looked hopeful when I compared both shades in the bottles, as Hepburn had a gold shimmer running through it. On the nails however, the difference was more apparent. Hepburn is a more orange toned pink and has gold shimmer as opposed to the gold micro glitter in Morning Rose.

Leighton Denny Hepburn, Chanel Morning Rose

The photos below show some of the other colours I compared to Morning Rose along with a picture of Morning Rose on one hand and Hepburn on the other, so you can see a direct contrast.

Left to right: Nails Inc Montagu Place, Chanel Morning Rose, OPI Flower to Flower

Leighton Denny Hepburn (2 coats) - £11
Bottom hand: Leighton Denny Hepburn, Top hand: Chanel Morning Rose
Overall, Morning Rose has surpassed my expectations. I tend to buy all Chanel colours with little view to how much wear I will get out of them, not sensible but I get swept up by the allure of the interlocking Cs. I'm still not sure whether I love or hate Mimosa (it's on my toes at the moment), but Morning Rose is the perfect pink. Not too loud and brash, but not light and pale enough to look insipid. To me, it seems an ideal bridal colour.

Although £17.50 is undoubtedly steep for a nail polish, the flattering nature of the colour and the long wear I am getting from it makes it worth the money as I know I will wear it all summer long.

Chanel Morning Rose Nail Colour is £17.50 and available from counters nationwide as well as www.garden.co.uk and www.debenhams.com online.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Chanel Summer Collection Preview

Most of Chanel Summer 2011

I have been a very lazy blogger of late, mainly because I have been attempting to set up a website to sell my handmade cards and it is driving me insane. Blogging seems far easier in comparison so I am making a vow to post at least 5 times a week from now on (if I publish this I might stick to it!), starting with a series of posts on the latest Chanel Summer Collection.

I managed to accidentally buy it all in stages since its release (not intentional), so I will do a thorough post on each group of items, starting with the Morning Rose Nail Polish, the item that sold out first at my local counter.

Expect regular posts for a change starting from tomorrow!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Mellow Yellow: Chanel Nail Polish in Mimosa

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Mimosa £17.00
Chanel's Summer Collection for 2011 was released today in the UK and like the Chanel devotee I am, I was down at my local counter at 9am waiting to get my hands on the latest polishes and bronzers. I'll post separately on those but for now, the focus is on Mimosa, what is hyped as the colour for nails this summer.

Yellow is one colour I have never worn on my nails before. I think I have a light pastel Nails Inc polish hiding somewhere that I got as part of a kit, but I've never felt the urge to use it. I approached Mimosa with some trepidation, especially as a good friend of mine had been disappointed with it but I thought it's Chanel, how bad could it be?

Mimosa is what I would describe a banana yellow with ultra fine gold micro glitter, and although this can just about be seen in the bottle, it appeared to disappear completely once on the nails. One coat of this looked awful, really dreadful and two was not much better. After three coats it was nearly opaque but I found it hard to get a consistent finish so in the end used four plus a top coat. I'm still not entirely happy with the finish but I couldn't face doing anymore to my nails, being lazy by nature.

4 coats of Mimosa applied + top coat
I always knew that it would take a while to get used to seeing yellow on my finger nails and I am struggling to think of yellow in positive terms, I keep thinking fungus, mucus etc (not helped by getting some of the polish on my cuticles), not what Chanel were going for I'm sure! At first, I kept thinking it looked like I had dipped my fingers in a jar of mustard, but as the day has gone on, I am liking the look more. You do however have to be patient to build up the colour as two coats just won't cut it.

Mimosa is definitely a look, I can't imagine it being a flattering colour on most skintones, although I'd love to see it on a really dark skin, I think that is how it would look best. This is a fashion colour and I can see it being a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. I for one love marmite (I even have it in omlettes, that is how weird I am) but I can't make up my mind in Mimosa. What I am pleased about is that it has sparked my interest much more than the majority of the OPI Pirates of the Caribbean Collection that I've swatched this week. I may not love it yet, but at least my reaction is more than one of indifference.

I picked up the more traditional Morning Rose Nail Colour as well this morning and I will try and swatch that tomorrow if I get a chance. I think that will have more universal appeal.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Mimosa is available from Chanel counters nationwide for £17.00.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

OPI Pirates of the Caribbean Collection

Having already looked at two of the shades from this 6 piece collection, along with the Silver Shatter, today is time to focus in on 'Steady as she Rose' and 'Planks a lot'.

Left to right: Steady as She Rose, Planks A Lot

I was hotly anticipating all 6 of the colours, hence pre-ordering from America, but I'll admit I am a little disappointed. There are one or two that I like, but as a whole, they remind me of the colours of bathroom towels, bit of an odd description but there you go. They are faded pastels and although some look pretty enough, they do nothing for my nails. Nail Polish as with all makeup is such a personal thing though so I might be in the minority. Hopefully the swatches can help you make up your minds before you part with any money!

OPI Steady As She Rose
Steady as She Rose is a very muted lilac pink putty colour. In real life there is more lilac than the pictures are showing. I had to use three coats to get an even finish and I did find it fairly hard to work with compared with my other OPI polishes. There is no shimmer in any of the Pirates' shades, they are all an opaque cream.

To give it more of a chance, I applied this shade to my toes as well, but sadly it didn't even work on them. I think I need to learn that I have to be very careful with pale colours as they don't tend to suit me. On an olive or darker skin, I think Steady As She Rose would look much better.

I had a look through my polish stash to see if I had anything similar and the closest I could get is OPI Panda-monium Pink which is a touch darker and more pink.

OPI Planks A Lot
Planks A Lot is one of the more vivid shades out of the six, somewhere between purple and lilac, but still a little grungy. It is a bit warmer than the majority of lilacs out there and in comparison to other OPI shades, falls halfway between Funky Dunkey and Rumple's Wiggin, both from last year's Shrek Collection. I had no issues with application with this colour, 2 coats gave a smooth, opaque finish.

I much prefer Planks A lot to the paler Steady As She Rose but neither colour is particularly special to my eyes. I didn't try them with the Silver Shatter but I'm sure this would make them much more interesting. I will try and post swatches of the final two shades tomorrow.

Each colour from the OPI Pirates of the Caribbean costs £10.50.

There are still some great products left in my blog sale, that you can see here. It is open internationally.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Blog Sale - Nars, MAC, Chanel, Dior, Rouge Bunny Rouge

I promise this won't be a regular occurrence, it is just that I am having a clear out and having just bought a dress for my brother's wedding in July, I've now decided I need shoes. As I feel I've got to grips now with sales this one is open worldwide. Here are the rules:
  • If you want an item, please leave a comment stating which item you would like with your  paypal email address and then I will send you an invoice.
  • It is a case of first come first served.
  • Please pay promptly, if I don't hear from you within 24 hours I will re-list the item.
  • Paypal is the only form of payment accepted
  • I will ship worldwide.
  • Postage will be £2 and then 50p extra for each additional item. I will send all items via recorded delivery. For overseas buyers, postage will be £4 and then 50p per additional item. I have had to estimate postage costs and I will refund any difference in actual cost if it is £1 or more.
  • Please don't rely solely on my descriptions, I have put them there as a guide, but I would suggest if you are unsure about something, to check out swatches on other beauty blogs first.
  • All sales are final.
Diorskin Nude Cream Foundation in 10 Ivory, Diorskin Nude Glow Powder in Aurora (released last week)
The foundation is the latest release in the Diorskin Nude range and it is a cream/gel compact. I have used it only a handful of times and have included a new sponge. It is in the lightest shade that they do, which unfortunately is a fraction too dark for me. The bronzer is beautiful and was only released at the end of last week. It is a woven pattern, made up of 4 different shades, 2 matte and 2 shimmer. It comes complete with brush, pouch and box, has only been swatched. Again, it is too dark for me.
  • Diorskin Nude Foundation in Ivory - £17.50
  • Diorskin Nude Glow Powder in Aurora - SOLD
MAC Soecial Reserve Highlighting Powder in Rose Ole, MAC Venomous Villains Blush in Bite of an Apple
The MAC Highlighting Powder is a soft rose gold shade and is brand new in the box. It was a limited edition product that was released in the Champale Collection at the beginning of 2011. It sold out immediately. The blush was limited edition, part of the Venomous Villains Disney Collection. It sold out immediately on release. It has only been swatched once and comes complete with box.
  • MAC Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Ole - £17.00
  • MAC Bite of an Apple Blush - SOLD
Nars Eyeshadow Suo in Balthazar, YSL Eye Palette in Mauresque

The Nars eyeshadow duo has never been used. The YSL eye palette was limited edition and has never been used, although as you can see in the picture, a tiny bit of the gold overspray has come off around the edge.
  • Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Balthazar - £12 - SOLD
  • YSL Palette Mauresque - £15
    Nars Fame Lip Palette
The Nars Fame Palette consists of 12 lip colours, 4 reds, 4 nudes and 4 bright/darks. 9 have been swatched once with a lip brush, 3 are untouched. Like all Nars palettes, due to the rubberised outside, the palette has some wear to it just from where it has been stored. The shades included are Blonde Venus, Heatwave, Funny Face, Honalulu Honey, Jungle Red, Shanghai Express, Casablanca, Red Lizzard, Transeurope Express, Morocco, Trans Siberian, Scarlet Empress.
  • Nars Fame Lip Palette - SOLD

Rouge Bunny Rouge Devotion Ink Eyeliner in Amethyst Essence, MAC Surf Baby Suntint in Full of Grace
The Rouge Bunny Rouge Quartz Eyeliner is a stunning lilac shimmer colour and it has been used only twice. It has a fine tip for application. The MAC Suntint Liquid Lip Balm is part of the newly released Surf Baby Collection and is brand new in box.
  • Rouge Bunny Rouge Quartz Eyeliner - £12 - SOLD
  • MAC Suntint in Full of Grace - £9.50
Chanel Eyeshadow Quad in Tentation Cuivree
This eyeshadow quad was limited edition, released with the Christmas Collection. It is brand new, never been used.
  • Chanel Eyeshadow Quad - £25 - SOLD

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Skin Tone Perfecting Booster
I originally bought this from Space NK when I was going to overhaul my skincare routine, but things changed when I got terrible acne. As such, I resorted to specialist skincare ranges and this Sarah Chapman serum has been left untouched in its box. It is designed to be a clarifying corrector for uneven skintone. It aims to brighten skin and target visible age spots, sun damage and discolouration to restore skin clarity and luminosity. It retails for around £57.
  • Sarah Chapman Skin Tone Perfecting Booster - £25 - PENDING

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm in Alabaster
The Bobbi Brown corrector, used to help hide dark circles, is brand new. The Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm with SPF is in the fairest shade available, Alabaster, and is perfect for summer. Although in the photo it looks a little bit of a mess, it has only been used twice so 95% of the product is left. Strangely for a base product it smells lovely.
  • Bobbi Brown Corrector - SOLD
  • Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm - SOLD
  • In the right of the photo - Bobbi Brown Pastel Palette
  The Bobbi Brown Pastel Eyeshadow Palette has been swatched but the only shade that has been used more than once is Ivory:
  • Bobbi Brown Pastel Eyeshadow Palette - SOLD
Chanel Gold Fiction Nail Polish
Chanel Gold Fiction was a limited edition shade that is now very hard to get hold of. It has only been used once.
  • Chanel Gold Fiction Nail Polish - SOLD
Left to right: Feel the Burn, Passion, On The Rocks, Not Tonight
Leighton Denny Nail Polishes, all new:
  • Feel the Burn (Burnt orangey red)- £4
  • Passion (Classic Blood Red) - £5 - SOLD
  • On the rocks (Dark taupe with shimmer) - £4
  • Not Tonight (Dark chocolate brown) - £4

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Alpha-H: My weapon in the fight against acne

I recently reviewed the Lumie Clear for London makeup Girl, an LED light therapy device said to be a natural treatment for acne. You can read that review here but what was most interesting about the 3 month trial I did was how the light treatment compared to skincare.

Just some of my arsenal of Alpha-H products (all bought by me)

I used the Lumie exclusively on my back and an Alpha-H regime on my face as I am lucky enough to have spots in both places! At the end of the trial period, I would say that my face had improved approximately 20% more than my back. The Lumie is an expensive initial outlay so I was thrilled that skincare alone on my face gave better results. Here is the rundown of what I used:

Balancing Cleanser - described as a creamy gentle lotion which removes all traces of face and eye makeup while balancing the skin. 3 in 1 action. I used this to cleanse both morning and night and although my preference had been for balm cleansers, this felt light and refreshing. I rinsed off with a muslin cloth.

Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant - described as a fast absorbing, lightly moisturising lotion that assists in the natural renewal and refinement of the skin texture. I used this 4 times a week as my night cream and I will admit, it does tingle for a while but this soon passes and it shows I think that the product is working. Initially I thought it might be a little heavy for my skin as it seems quite thick compared to what I had been using, but it sinks in quickly and now I wouldn't be without it.

Liquid Gold - Probably the brand's most famous product. You use it applied neat to a cotton pad and then wipe it over cleansed skin, avoiding the eye area, then off to bed. It is that simple. I used this 3 times a week at night and I credit this as helping the most with my troubled skin. If there is one Alpha-H product that I would urge you to try as an introduction to the brand, it would be this one. Just make sure you read the instructions. I no longer experience any tingling when I use this, strangely I get more from the moisturiser.

Absolute Eye Complex - This is a clear gel with light exfoliating properties that can be used all around the eye area, including the lid. Another favourite of mine, I use it morning and evening.  I have dabbled in other eye creams by Elemis, Decleor, La Prarie, Sarah Chapman and Oskia (I'm nothing if not fickle) but I always return to this.

Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ - The moment Spring arrives I change my morning moisturiser to this little beauty. I don't find it greasy at all, it doesn't cause my spotty skin any problems and I have peace of mind knowing my skin is protected. I would not feel happy using glycolic products without a high level SPF during the day. I am never without this product.

Microcleanse - A granular scrub/exfoliant that can be used on the face and body. I would use this a couple of times a week on my face when I showered. I left it on for a couple of minutes to really do its magic before rinsing.

The above were the staples of my routine for the three month trial period but I used the Purifying Clay Mask one a week and a sample of the new Gentle Daily Exfoliant. Below is my attempt at showing you the texture of some of the products, especially the difference between the two moisturisers and cleansers. I couldn't include Liquid Gold because as the name suggests, it is a liquid!

Left to right: Absolute Eye Complex, Daily Essential Moisturiser, Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant, Triple Action Cleanser, Balancing Cleaner
When I came off the pill last September I got horrible and stubborn acne, including a lot of painful cystic spots around the mouth and jawline. I thought that Alpha-H might help me to resist the temptation to go back on medication to sort the spots and I was right. I already knew from watching QVC that Michelle, the owner of the Alpha-H, battled similar skin problems herself in her twenties but i was fortunate enough to meet her and Tom Ogden earlier this year.

I felt a little embarrassed that I already owned the majority of the products I was shown but I firmly believe that owning them is not enough, for the best results you need to know exactly how to get the best out of them. With that in mind, I proceeded to monopolise Tom for most of the evening, trying to get as many hints and tips as I could. It was with his help that I decided on the above selection of products for my routine. His other advice was that Microcleanse works really well on the body, so I could easily use it on my chest and back to help with acne there. Now I've finished with the Lumie, I will be giving that a try.

I can't say that my acne has completely disappeared, but there has been a big improvement and most importantly, this has given me back a lot of confidence in my skin. As my hormones are still haywire I doubt my skin will settle down until they do, but I don't feel the need to resort to medication and I am happy to wait, safe in the knowledge that Alpha-H will prevent me needing a mask of foundation before I venture out of the house.

The one thing I am still looking for a solution to though is the scarring left by these horrible spots. As I have very pale skin, these angry purple marks stick out a lot. I have heard good things about Vitamin E so am eyeing up the Alpha-H Vitamin E serum as my next purchase. If anyone has any tips for scarring then do share! I'd prefer not to have a permanent reminder of my past spots etched on my face.
Thursday's Alpha-H TSV

I first discovered Alpha-H on QVC and they are launching their latest TSV at midnight tomorrow (11th May), with shows during the day on Thursday 12th may. I'm not sure on the exact price but the kit should include a full size Liquid Gold, a full size of the new Daily Exfoliant (similar to Dermalogica's Microfoliant), Absolute Eye Complex, Balancing Cleanser and Rejuvenating Cream. I ran out of my Liquid Gold a few weeks ago and my skin is not as good as it has been so I will definitely be stocking up as well as listening out for more advice from Michelle and Tom.

Alpha-H also recently launched a new range of products called Clear Skin, specifically targeted at spot prone skin. It consists of a hydrating gel, cleanser and individual spot treatment. All three products as well as a starter kit are available exclusively from www.beautyexpert.co.uk and I am very tempted to give it a try, especially as the one thing I have missed from my current regime is an individual spot treatment. If I do take the plunge, I'll let you know how I get on in a couple of months.

Alpha-H is available from www.qvcuk.com and www.beautyexpert.co.uk. I would highly recommend some of the specific sets they offer with multiple products as a good way to see if the range suits you.

The Alpha-H TSV will be available at QVC from midnight tomorrow for 24 hours or until the stock runs out.

Although a goodie bag was given out at the end of the event I attended, all the products I used with the exception of the sample fo Gentle Daily Exfoliant were bought by myself.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Monday Manicure: OPI Pirates of the Caribbean Special

Well, exams are over for the next few months and to celebrate I have some exciting new colours from OPI that arrived on my doorstep from America today. OPI has released 6 new shades to coincide with the latest in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise along with a Silver Shatter polish. The two I have today are Mermaid's Tears and Stranger Tides.
Left to right: OPI Mermaid's Tears, OPI Silver Shatter, OPI Stranger Tides
I should have the full collection soon, on its way from Trans Design in the USA, but they were already out of stock of Mermaid's Tears and Stranger Tides so I got these from an independent eBay seller, again from the States, hence their earlier arrival. Many of you probably saw the Silver Shatter featuring as part of the OPI TSV on QVC last week. Even having my first law exam that day didn't stop me staying up till midnight the night before to get my order in. The things I do for nail polish!

Mermaid's Tears is the shade I was most looking forward to out of the six, a light slightly dirty blue with a hint of green. It is a straightforward creme and although I do like it, I was disappointed to realise it was almost identical to Butter London's Artful Dodger, which I used just a few ago. If you read that post, you might remember I was unhappy with quality of that polish and the good news is the OPI formula is great. Two coats application and I was done.

2 coats of OPI Mermaids Tears (taken in artificial light)

2 coats of OPI Mermaids Tears plus one coat of OPI Silver Shatter
I've never been a big fan of shatter polishes, they have passed me by in recent months. If it hadn't been in the TSV, I doubt I would have purchased it individually. However, it has proved very useful when I have had manicure disasters i.e. smudges, as it manages to cover all my mistakes and dries quickly. Possibly not its primary aim, but it works for me. It does look pretty over Mermaid's Tears, with the silver a delicate contrast to the blue, but I don't really like it over Stranger Tides.

Left to right: Butter London Artful Dodger, OPI Mermaids Tears, Nails Inc Haymarket
Although they don't look it in the bottle, Butter London Artful Dodger and OPI Mermaids Tears are almost identical on the nail. You can see my previous NOTD post featuring Artful Dodger here and judge for yourself.
Left to right: Chanel Nouvelle Vague, OPI Mermaids Tears, Chanel Jade

Stranger Tides is another cream and is best described as putty in colour. It is like a dirty, greenish cream, to put it bluntly the shade you can look when you are feeling very unwell. Delightful. It doesn't look bad on the nails though and I was surprised that I couldn't find anything like it in my current stash. I thought it would be similar to You Don't Know Jaques or Chane;'s Khaki Green, but it is much lighter than both. It seems OPI has a unique shade on their hands with this but maybe there is a reason no one has done this colour before. Maybe it will grow on me.

2 coats of OPI Stranger Tides applied (photo taken in artificial light)

2 coats of Stranger Tides plus one coat of Silver Shatter (photo taken in artificial light)
Left to right: OPI You Don't Know Jaques, OPI Stranger Tides, Chanel Khaki Vert
Overall, Mermaids Tears is definitely my favourite out the current two I have, and I like the look of the whole 6 piece collection a lot more than Spring's Texas 12 piece. I would sound a lot more enthusiastic about Mermaids Tears if it wasn't so similar to a colour I had recently bought and if I hadn't had physio this afternoon! I will try and post on the four remaining shades as soon as the postman brings them.

The OPI Pirates of the Caribbean Collection is available in America already but doesn't seem to be out in the UK yet. It should be available before the end of May, and I'm guessing as soon as the film is released here.

OPI Nail Polishes cost £10.50 each in the UK and are available from Lena White, QVC and www.asos.com as well as many others.

There are still some bargains to be had in my blog sale and I have altered the rules to allow overseas buyers. See here for what is on offer.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

April Favourites - for a simple summer look

I managed to totally miss last month's Must-haves and Lust-haves and as we are already in May, I thought I would do something a little different. We have had such magnificent weather in April, with temperatures reaching 28 C here in Kent, I have ventured out into the sun and looked for products to give a subtle bronzed glow. Do remember though that my version of bronzed is one shade up from lily white with my fair skin!
My favourite products this month
I have used all these products together everyday for the last few weeks and I now wouldn't be without them.
  • MAC Face & Body Foundation in N1 (£23.50) - I really have to thank Rebecca from Le Salon de Beaute for this I had been wanting to try it for ages but wasn't sure which shade to get. My local counter doesn't stock it so after some advice from her I went for N1. This is perfect for me, but it does oxidise a lot, so in winter I probably couldn't use it, but now I have a tiny bit of a tan, it is fine. I apply it with a sponge and press it into the skin so it gives a nice natural finish with a bit of dewiness. I think it is great value for the amount you get.
  • MAC Studio Finish Concealer (£13.50) - Possibly my Holy Grail concealer. I used to always fear concealer, thinking it would look cakey and obvious when I applied it. However, this one is perfect. I got it in NW15, NW20 and NW25 (I think you can tell I like it!) and it is great for under the eyes and on spots. I use it with a MAC 217 brush and buff it into the skin. For me, it is better than concealers I have bought for more than 3 times the price. I also love the fact that this has spf 35.
  • Nars Multiple Bronzer in Tuomota (£29) - This is the fairest bronzer Nars do and although I haven't tried it, I imagine it to be similar to Chanel's Bronze Universal in texture. It is beautifully creamy and blends like a dream. I apply it from the stick to my cheeks, sides of my forehead, along my jawline and on the bridge of my nose then use my fingers to blend. It has no shimmer.
  • Nars Multiple in Orgasm (£29) - The famous blush shade but in cream form. It gives a subtle wash of colour to the cheeks and just the right amount of shimmer to contrast with the matte bronzer. For summer, I hate powder products so these multiples are great.
  • Le Metier de Beaute Blush in Echo - I don't use this as a blush, instead I take a fluffy eyeshadow brush and use it for a wash of colour over the eye. It probably shouldn't work, but strangely enough it does. It ties the whole look together. If I want a bit more definition, I roughly line both top and bottom lashline with a Chanel pencil in Gris and blend with the shadow.
  • Chanel Imitable Mascara in Purple (£22) - I actually wanted this in black but they only had purple in stock so I went for it as I know purples and burgundys tend to flatter my green eyes. Doesn't clump or smudge which is good enough for me.
  • Rouge Dior Lipstick in 540 Spring Pink (£22.50) - A beautiful light peach with a hint of pink. It has a strong fragrance but is creamy enough to feel comfortable on the lips. It's a perfect everyday shade for Spring/Summer when you don't want to look too made up.
  • Le Metier de Beaute Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss in Ibiza - Yet another Holy Grail product I have found in the month I was meant to be on a spending ban, mus tbe a sign! I will never use another lip gloss again. Smells divine and is a light pink/peach shimmery shade but compliments the Dior lipstick. My aim is to own all the Le Metier Sheer Brilliance glosses and Lip Cremes, even if I have to pay exorbeant US shipping prices to get them. That is how much I love them.
Swatches left to right: Le Metier Lip Gloss in Ibiza, Rouge Dior Lipstick in Summer Pink, Le Metier Echo Blush, Nars Tuomota Multiple, Nars Tuomota Multiple blended, Nars Orgasm Multiple, Nars Orgasm Multiple blended

I tried to take a picture of all the products applied to my face, but as with most natural looks, it didn't show up at all well. The best way I can describe it is it takes me looking from at death's door, to healthy (it fools the doctor anyway!). The textures ensure that even with a full face of makeup, it looks natural for summertime.

All the products should still be available nationwide apart from Le Metier de Beaute which can only be accessed in the UK via American department stores that ship internationally like Nordstrom.

I will hopefully have some scheduled posts up this coming week on my current skincare favourites and fragrance favourites whilst I sit my law exams. After that, blogging will resume as normal.

There are still some items left in my blog sale, inlcuding one of the Le Metier de Beaute Lip glosses I have been raving about (once I got it I realised without having to try it that the shade was way too dark for me, would look lovely on darker skintones though). All the prices have been reduced for the Bank Holiday tomorrow so take a look here.

For everyone who has already purchased, thanks for your prompt payment and I will endeavour to post everything first thing Tuesday morning.