Monday, 15 August 2016

Kiko Milano Glasgow Haul

Hi Guys,

A couple of months ago Kiko Milano opened a store on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, although they already have another store in Glasgow, located at the Fort. It can be a little tricky to get to unless you drive, so I was very excited to hear about its launch in the City Centre. Kiko is a store I've visited a few times when down in London at their Regent Street store, however I haven't tried much from them at all. Although they are highly raved about, especially when it comes to their eye products. 
As part of their launch day, they had a special promotion on, that the first two hundred customers would receive a goody bag with a purchase, so really how could I say no? But as well as running in on the launch day, I've been back to pick up more items from their sale. Which had up to 70% off a lot of popular and limited edition items. 
 Included in the goody bag on the launch day, were three full size items. Which I couldn't quite believe as they are mainly all products I had heard great things about beforehand. It was a bit of a pick and mix when it came to the colours you received, but luckily all three items are something I would wear.

Included in the bag was the Lavendar Water Eyeshadow, you can use this eyeshadow formula wet or dry. I love how it dips in the centre which is great for using it when wet, so not to wet the whole shadow. Once wet you find it applies more opaquely than when dry, when they are used dry they result in more of a wash of colour. 

I haven't tried this product yet, but also included was the Perfect Gel Duo in Fuchsia.  After a bit of investigating, I've noticed that you cant actually buy these separately either, so if you're looking for a Gel Topcoat, you have to buy it in the duo form. Which I do find a bit frustrating as I think overall I would use the topcoat more than the colour, but oh well!

There was also the Super Gloss in Mat Pink, which is the first lip product I've tried from Kiko. It's got a good amount of pigmentation to it and doesn't feel sticky on the lips. It wasn't drying either and the wear time meant that it disappeared evenly and slowly, compared to other glosses. However I would say the shade itself is more on the coral side than pink. 
Possibly one of the most popular products, especially in the blogosphere, are the Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows. I must admit they were my sole reason to pop into the store and I cant actually believe its taken me so long to join in and grab a couple. I got the shades Golden Chocolate and Golden Brown, as I've realised I don't actually seem to own a lot of neutral shades. So I'm going back to the rustic shades with these wonder sticks, the subtle shimmer that runs through them just mesmerises me.

I think certain products, especially creams with a shimmer can sometimes be deceiving, as shimmer and glitter usually falls down straight after application. However with these, the shimmer is staying put, you don't need to worry about being left with a wishy wash of colour. The pigmentation of these is incredible, especially for their price point. Even once blended out, you don't lose that intense colour and they will not budge, you don't even need to worry about setting them with a powder either.
On my second venture to the store, I bumped into Andrew from Beauty and the Boy (surprise, surprise, we were watching the shadow sticks...) and he may or may not of talked me into a few things, haha. Including the Artist Stroke Mineral Loose Shadow in Skill Blue, a loose pigment, housed in a little jar with a lace sift top. Andrew swayed me on this one after saying its a pretty good dupe for Illamasqua Android, so of course I had to give it a go. It's a really finely milled loose midnight blue pigment, with a subtle silver shimmer. Plus because its got a lace top, you cant really spill too much product at a time, as it keeps it nice and contained in the pot. 


I also grabbed another Water Eyeshadow in Emerald Green to pair up with the Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in Emerald Green. I think once both of these are layered, you can make a really gorgeous dark emerald smokey eye with quite minimal work. Buff out the cream stick first and just pat on the water shadow, just to boost the colour and to add that little bit of extra sparkle to the eye. Plus to fuel my blue obsession this season, I added a Ocean Blue shadow stick to my basket too. 
(Swatches: Left to Right - Mat Pink, Lavender, Emerald Green Water Shadow, Skill Blue, Golden Brown, Ocean Blue, Golden Chocolate, Emerald Green Long Lasting Shadow Stick)
Two other products, which were last minute buys, but I forgot to photograph! Are the Mixing Solution and Pure Clean Mini Wipes, both recommendations from Andrew and both great little handy products. The mixing solution alone is a massive bottle, 50ml for such a fantastic price. A lot of mixing solutions for loose pigments can get quite pricy, but this one is cheap and cheerful and most importantly effective.

But if I could only tell you to run out and grab one thing to give a good go from Kiko, its just got to be the Long Lasting Stick Shadows. Im already tempted to run back myself... 

Eloise x

Friday, 12 August 2016

Easy Gel Nails with Sensationail

Hi Guys,

As a bit of prep for my time away, I thought I would dig out my Sensationail Kit for quick and easy gel nails, that I won't need to worry about repainting while I'm away. Shamefully I've actually only ever used this kit once, after getting it for Christmas a few years ago, I just love changing up my nail polish so often, it seemed like something I would get bored of quickly. Yet being as intrigued as I am by new nail launches, I knew I had to try it.
 I must admit I'm really glad I did, this handy starter kit is fantastic for situations like mine. Where you want a manicure that's going to last you while you're away for a few weeks. Or even if the constant chipping of regular polishes drives you mad, it certainly drives me mad.

Something that really drew me back to Sensationail recently though is a little kit, where you can change any polish you already own into a gel. So of course this is just my dream situation, as you can transform all of you're favourite shades! 
 Of course you can still get the Sensationail colours, which are lovely in themselves. I've collected six over the years (TK Maxx is a little Sensationail saviour!) I did start off with the Sensationail Deluxe Starter Kit; which includes two colour polishes in Sugar Plum and Taupe Tulips. As well as your timed LED Lamp, Nail File and Buffer, Gel Cleanser, Lint Free Wipes, Gel Base and Top Coat and the Gel Nail Prep Solution.

You can get top up lots of the prepping items, which is fantastic as you can just refill them as you need them. The polishes themselves come in a wide range of shades and finishes. From shimmers, creams and glitters. I have to admit, I think the glitters may be my favourite, I've even spied a rose gold one... 
 Using the starter kit couldn't be any easier, it comes with fantastic detailed instructions. Which are really easy to follow and the fact that the LED lamp beeps to let you know when your thirty seconds is up, is so handy. As if you're anything like me, I'd lose track and just sit there waiting.

You just buff and file the nails gently, then apply a little bit of the Gel Cleanser to a lint free wipe and clean the nails of any oils. You then apply a small amount of the Gel Prep Solution to the nails, to rehydrate them and get them ready for the base coat. Which you also need a very thin layer of, however be careful to avoid applying any to the skin and cuticle. As when you cure it with the lamp for thirty seconds, it can be quite nippy if it's on the skin. Once that's been cured though, you're good to go with applying two layers of your colour. Curing them both one at a time, for a minute each. But again be careful of applying it to the skin. Finish citing the manicure with the Top Coat for thirty seconds and you're nearly good to go! It does have a slight sticky film to it, but just wipe over the nails again with the Gel Cleanser and you're all set!

When it comes to the Polish to Gel Kot, you're supplied with the Gel Polish Transformer and a little pot to mix your polish with. You can either follow the steps above until you get to applying the coloured gel and instead apply you're favourite polish. Setting it with a layer of the Polish to Gel. However I decided to take equal quantities of both the Barry M Coconut Polish and the Polish to Gel, ten drops of each and then mix them in the little pot provided. I also used the brush from the Polish to Gel to apply it to my nails, just making sure to clean it thoroughly before placing it back into the bottle. I found that the quantity also just did me for two coats of colour on both hands, so there was no waste too. 
(Swatches: Left to Right - Scarlet Red, Little Gold Dress, After Five, Barefoot Beauty, Taupe Tulips and Sugar Plum.)
Overall it was such a quick and easy process to take part in and it's something that I really wish I had used more of. As when it comes to being cost effective, this is a much cheaper way to get gel nails, compared to having them every two weeks in a salon. The Polish to Gel is a fantastic investment as well, as it saves you having to buy multiple bottles of gel polish, when really you can just use any polish you already have. 

Eloise x

Monday, 8 August 2016

A MAC Haul

Hi Guys,

I must admit I have fallen away from MAC, compared to when I first started blogging. I think you find new brands and experiment with other things and slowly move away from them, or at least I did. But over the past few months, I seem to of accumulated quite the collection of MAC bits and pieces to try. Some are products that I have always loved and not strayed from over the years and others, new additions which have drawn me in. So I thought I would accumulatively bring everything together and try and reignite that love for MAC. 
I dont think it helped that I may of been a little naughty and visited the Cosmetic Company Store, which basically has discounted products from MAC and other brands, its a dangerous place but a must to visit! So when youre getting a deal, I cant say no. But that does make me feel a little better to think that I got these at a discount or over a good few months of little treats. 

But I have also been naughty, as instead of getting stuck into them, I stashed them away and had completely forgotten about them until recently. So I am very pleased to of found certain pieces and I cannot wait to get properly stuck into them. 
I'm coming to the end of my beloved Soft Ochre Paint Pot, which must be one of the only products thats remained a constant in my makeup routine over the years. But this time I thought I would switch things up a bit and pick up Painterly Longwear Paint Pot, which is basically just a pink toned version of Soft Ochre. It's the perfect eye shadow base, a little bit of this buffed over the eye, will intensify the colour applied on top and increase the longevity too. 

Two products that I've eventually got around to trying, after seeing featured on many a Pixiwoo video are Powersurge Eye Kohl Pencil and Vanilla Pigment. Powersurge is such a pretty bronze pencil, with the most subtle golden shimmer running through it, lovely on blue and green eyes. Then there's the little pot of Vanilla Pigment, the MAC Pigments are so useful, you can use them on your eyes, cheeks, mix into body lotions or nail polish. The opportunities are endless with a loose pigment, but Vanilla makes a brilliant highlight. As its a pigment, with no added ingredients to convert it into a pressed form, you get the true colour, making it much more intense. I would definitely recommend this over the pressed shadow version of Vanilla, if you really want to pack a punch with an ivory shimmer. 

I have to admit MAC Lipsticks are a bit of a weakness, I just cant fault them. I do favour some formulations over others, but I'm yet to try a frost. So I thought I would give Costa Chic a try, as it's a popular coral shade and I think it'll be lovely for the summer. Then after seeing Tanya Burr rocking Whirl Lipstick recently, I've talked myself into it. The matte formulation is quite comfortable to wear, I don't find it to be drying on the lip and it's also long lasting too. 
I personally find MAC Foundations a little bit of a hit or a miss personally, just because I don't find that they go pale enough for me. However I've given the Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation a go and it's lovely. It is a lighter coverage than I'm used to, though adjustable depending on how many drops you use. But I will give it a full review though.

Finally I got carried away in the blush department, though also a little confused, as I seem to of picked up a Pro Pan Cubic Blush by accident. But as its such a great everyday kind of dusty pink shade, I don't think it's one that'll last for very long. Maybe not so wearable however on first glance, are Full of Joy; a soft lilac and Frankly Scarlet; a bright red. However once on the cheek, these both translate to beautiful flushes of colour.
(Swatches: Left to Right - Light Plus, Painterly, Studio Waterweight Blended, Studio Waterweight Unblended, Cubic, Frankly Scarlet, Full of Joy, Whirl, Costa Chic, Vanilla, Vanilla Blended and Powersurge)
I did also pick up a few MAC brushes as well, but I think I'm going to save those for another post. As MAC brushes are quite an investment, but worth it if you know you're going to love them and use them. So I'll do a little round up of my favourites, as they have definitely become staples in my everyday makeup routine. 

Eloise x

Friday, 5 August 2016

What's in my Makeup Bag: Summer Vacation

Hi Guys,

I'be been planning out my makeup for my trip away for longer than I've been planning what to wear. Which is typical for me, I can never decide on what to take and I've probably over packed by quite a bit as per usual. I blame the fact that I get a little bit obsessed over having options, just incase...
Though I'm quite pleased with myself for managing to get all of my skincare, bodycare, haircare and makeup all in the one wash bag. I have definitely become a tad obsessed with travel mini's, but they are so handy and make such a difference to packing everything up. Decant as much as you can! Plus they are adorable too. 
 Skincare wise, I'm sticking to what I know and love. Including my Hydraquench Moisturiser for day and night, as well as the handy little SPF 30 Sun Control Stick, brilliant to use as a lip balm and over smaller areas that you can just top up with through out the day.

To take my makeup off with, I've got the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, I hadn't tried this before my trip to London. I can see why it's such a cult product, it's so effective at removing any makeup and then also being used for a second cleanse too, it leaves your skin feeling so nourished and soft. Though I also have a mini Clarins Eye Makeup Remover, just as I find that's a lot quicker to remove eye makeup with. Then lastly to tone, I'll be taking a travel size Pixi Glow Tonic, however I forgot to photograph it. But if you haven't already, grab a bottle, the glow it gives the skin and how effective it is at keeping the skin lovely and soft is worth every penny.

Makeup prep wise, I've decanted my trusty Nivea Men After Shave Balm as a primer, as well as a teeny little bottle of the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray, to keep everything in place. I also have a teeny pot of the Clarins Tanning Gel, to mix in with my foundation, just to darken it ever so slightly if needed. As well as making sure I have plenty of contact lenses solution to keep me going while I'm away, in the really handy Tiger Copenhagen Bottles. Oh and the Pixi Lip Polish as my lip balm/scrub, after it was recommended by Jamie Geniveve. 
 Haircare and Bodycare I've tried to keep simple, mainly sticking with Lush. As their naked products are so easy to travel with, you don't need to worry about liquid restrictions and leaking shampoo bottles in your case. Ive packed the Solid Shampoo Bar in Seanik, to try and give my hair a volume boost. The Shower Gel in Beautiful, which is lovely and fruity with lots of grapefruit packed into it.

I also decanted their Tooth Fairy Tooth Powder into a smaller tub, which by the way is an amazing toothpaste, although weird at first. Then there is also the Teo Solid Deodrant, another unsung hero from Lush and there is no way I could go back to canister deodorants every again, even when I'm not travelling. Then finally from Lush I have Buffy; the perfect two in one, body butter and exfoliator.

I've also popped in my teeny bottle of Ojon Rare Blend Oil to try out and hopefully just to rehydrate the ends of my hair after sun and sea damage. 
 When it comes to makeup, I've popped my foundation, which is Illamasqua Skin Base, Clarins BB Cream and Clarins Instant Concealer into smaller tubs. As well as choosing my Nars Palette as its so handy to travel with for blush and bronzer as you have a few options. Though I still couldn't help but bring my Illamasqua Gel Sculpt as its a little bit lighter on the skin. Plus of course my Beyond Powder in OMG as I think I'm going to have to be surgically removed from this highlighter. Then also the MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Powder in Light Plus to set everything. 
When it comes to the eye's I think it's fair to say I've gotten carried away when it comes to pencils. But I'm so obsessed with the Kiko Long Lasting Shadow Sticks, I just couldn't decide on one or two shades. Though they are so thin you can get away with packing quite a few and they don't take up a lot of space. Just like the MAC Powersurge Pencil and my trusty Illamaswua Vow Pencil, which is a fantastic little multitasker. 

I then have my Ilamasequa Gain Masquara, as it tints the lashes every time that you use it. As well as my Precision Gel Liner, which probably won't get used, but I think I would feel lost without it just incase. 

Shadow wise, I thought the Illamasqua Vanitas Palette would be the handiest, as its so slim and has such a variation of colours and shades. You have endless options with it, as well as Makeup Geek Coco Bear and Frappe. To hold everything in place on my eyes, as if I don't have a base there's no point in me wearing any shadow. Which is why I have the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly and the little handy bottle of Illamasqua Sealing Gel to turn different products water resistant. Though I thought I would try the Clarins Ombré Waterproof Shadow and see if it really lives up to its name. 
I've gotten carried away lips wise too, I tried to wittle it down to the nudes; MAC Velvet Teddy and my beloved Illamasqua Rosepout. A pink, in the form of the YSL Glossy Stain in 13, an orange; Illamasqua Brink, which I can then mix with Illamasqua Maiden Intense Gloss to turn it into more of a coral shade. Then finally I have a mini Clarins Lip Oil, to keep my lips hydrated and for a classie red, the Illamasqua Matte Lip Liquid in Fire.

I promise that hopefully at some point in my life I will finally get the hang of streamlining and not being so indecisive, when it comes to my makeup bag. But for now I'll need to stick with my multiple option approach haha.

Eloise x
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