Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Picks: Pink Lip Products (and swatches!)

I don't know about you, but there's no other time like summer for me to break out all of my pink lip products and go to town. I'm more of a red kind of gal any day, orange in the fall, and mauve in the spring, but summer is time for pink to shine. Hot pink, frosty pink, doesn't matter, I always seem to reach for it! I think the great thing about a pink lip is that it suits a summer face. You can go with a bronzed, natural look and have fun with some pink color. Now, pink doesn't necessarily mean muted, though it can. The great thing about pink is that you can go as simple or as bold as you would like. Here are a few of my recommendations for great summer pinks...

Clockwise from top:

Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick Glazed Pink
This is an amazing frosty pink lipstick that reminds me so much of a retro sixties look. Somehow, while maintaining its frosty, fun texture, it doesn't look dated since it is a warm pink rather than a blue-tinted pink. I think it's great to throw this on for a night out with some retro black liner and bright big eyes. Perfect for an unexpected summer look. I love bringing attention to lips with sparkle or some intense frost, and keeping everything else as far as accessories and jewelry minimal.

ARTDECO Hydra Lip Booster in 39 Translucent Wood Rose
I think this is such a lovely product for summer. It has great pigmentation (not sure where the translucent comes into the name!) and I feel like I can always wear this gloss on its own, though it does add something special to red and pink lipsticks alike. It's nearing that hot pink, warm magenta tone and is just a great all-rounder!

Pixi Icy Lip Lustre Lip Gloss Kit in Ice Petal
If you got your hands on this from a winter gloss kit, good on you. I can't say that this has much color payoff, but I LOVE the formula. It is glossy, but not sticky, and doesn't slide from the lips. It's also COCONUT SCENTED for all you coconut-lovers out there. I think this is fine on its own, but really shines when layered on top of another lip product such as a stain or lipstick. I like to use glosses in this way to revive lip products that look a little dry on my lips, especially if I've forgotten to use a balm beforehand. I think this also adds a nice sheen to matte products that really expands the wear of any matte lip product for multiple looks other than just matte. It's just a lovely light pink color that I'm absolutely loving this summer.

L'Oreal Infallible Lipstick Forever Frappe 814 (USA only)
Okay, so I know this is technically in the browney-mauvey range of lip colors but this is just to demonstrate how far a pink can stretch. I absolutely love this color, and keep it with my pink lipsticks because to me it's just a dark pink. It's a great option for a "my lips but better" sort of pink that's a bit more professional and serious. If I know my "fun" lip color is not going to be appreciated, opting for this or a more neutral color is easy. Plus I love how it looks! This was a lipstick inherited from my mom, and though I'm sure she got it on sale, this is not worth the $8.99 price tag in my opinion! Wow! I had no idea it was that expensive. Word to the wise this does tend to feather outside the lip line, which is why I don't think it lives up to the price tag. But man, do I love that color.

Cargo Long Wear Lip Gloss in Tuscany
This is a wonderful, pink gloss that amps up the class of any pink lipstick you may be wearing. It's a really nice warm pink as well, so it suits most skin tones.

Covergirl Continuous Color Lipstick 030 It's Your Mauve
I LOVE this color. I don't know how old this lipstick is, because I found it in my mom's house in one of her old purses. So the color may be different than the original, but the color on the lips is SUCH a nice deep pink coral color that doesn't wash out the lips or make my teeth look yellow. It also has a light staining effect, which I prefer, because I'm terrible about topping up on lipstick throughout the day and I hate the "lipliner" fade that some lip products leave behind. This is probably my most-reached-for color of all time, it's fantastic!

Maybelline New York Colorsensational Lip Color Summer Sunset 615
This is definitely a darker pink, but this particular lipstick has quite a sparkly sheen to it that makes this nice for special events and adds a little va-va-voom to your average pink. It's no demure rose hue, this one, rather it's a bold bright red-pink with a gorgeous sheen. I don't reach for this every day as I tend to keep my glitter in my lipgloss and my lipsticks matte, but it's a great summer option for special events.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Stick 174 Rose Taffeta
This is the perfect pink. I swear. The formula for this feels so moisturizing, almost like you're wearing nothing on your lips at all. It's just a nice pick me up. Rather than having to make a color choice and make sure this won't clash with an outfit, this is an easy, no fuss pretty light warm pink that suits every day wear. I think that I prefer this sort of formula to the Maybelline Color Whispers or the Revlon Lip Butters. It seems to give a more even color and the tube itself is quite precise for application.

Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm Blooming Balm
Oh what a pink. I love this product as it is as moisturizing as a balm with a beautiful range of colors that Almay offers. This is a perfect light pink to wear alone or on top of any lip color. Alone it is a nice neutral, quite minimal look that evens out the tone of the lips and makes them look fuller, while moisturizing. It is also great layered with any other color to add a more light pink tone or to add moisture to the lips. I often use this if I have used a drying lip color or my lips are chapped from too much lipstick wear. It's great to throw in a handbag as you don't have to fuss to much with making sure you color in the lines with a bright lip. You can just swipe and go!

Each swatch is the same group of colors, I just thought I would provide some different lighting. 
Swatches top to bottom:
L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Rose Taffeta 174
Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm Blooming Balm
Covergirl It's Your Mauve 030
Maybelline Summer Sunset 615
Lord & Barry Glazed Pink
Cargo Tuscany Gloss
L'Oreal 814
Pixi Ice Petal

I hope you enjoyed this rather large post of all my favorite pink products for summer! What are your favorite summer lip products? Let me know in the comments!


Monday, June 09, 2014

REVIEW: Venus Snap Razor

Recently I was sent a Venus Snap Razor* to test out in a VoxBox from Influenster. Let me tell you, I have a lot of thoughts!

The Gillette Venus Snap product page states: 

Our mini razor, experience instant smoothness on-the-go with the Snap with Embrace Razor. With five curve-hugging blades and a portable compact, you'll be ready for anything, anytime, anywhere.
Mini handle that's easy to grip and convenient to store
Embrace's 5 blades to get virtually every hair
Water activated Ribbon of Moisture for a smooth glide
Fits any cartridge

Now, I'm definitely that person who refuses to take a razor on short weekend trip because it's too fussy. I hate that the blades usually scratch my travel blag and always feel a little anxious reaching in lest I get cut. However, this has made it so easy to travel with a proper razor. It comes with a compact that actually feels like I can't throw it away! So I keep the travel razor in there. I also think this is great for dorms and shared showers, as it doesn't take up much space. I didn't find that the handle was hard to use, but I wouldn't use it for everyday shaving as I prefer the grip of a regular razor. I do have to say that Venus is the brand I usually buy, I like the blades that have the Olay-infused moisture strips and am so happy that this product fits any Venus cartridge. Ultimately, I think this product will change the way that we travel, it's just so easy, it's a no-brainer!

The Venus Snap Razor retails on Amazon for $8.99. Also, check out Influenster if you want to be a part of the community!

* product sent for review, no affiliate links, opinions of the author are her own and not influenced by the receipt of this product

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Empties #5: Spring Face and Body Products

Another empties post? Yeah! I have to move out in two months and I'm frantically trying to use up all of my products. I feel so anxious already staring at my stash of stuff. Anyone else start to feel crazy when moving out is on the horizon? Holla. 

Anyways, let's go through some reviews of the stuff I've used up!

Soap & Glory Peaches & Clean 3-in-1 Deep Purifying Cleanser
Yes, there's still a little bit of stuff there. I'll explain. So I got this cleanser because I had seen many good reviews. I have enlarged pores and blackheads and had never used a targeted cleanser before. I thought that the milky consistency would be good for my skin. It even says "for all skin types". However, I have sensitive skin and the HEAVY fragrance of peach and citrus irritated my skin. It was also very tingly, which I thought meant it was working. However, once I used this as hand soap in a pinch and it MAJORLY stung my hands. That shouldn't happen. What you put on your face should be safe enough to use on your hands, which are tougher than your face anyway. I also noticed no difference and a bit more breakouts while using this product, which seems to be a problem for other people too. I honestly just ended up using it as washing up liquid for my dishes and mixed in the end of a hand-soap until the soap wouldn't come through the pump anymore. 

Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Makeup Remover (Travel Size)
I purchased this whilst traveling over Christmas. I liked it a lot better than The Body Shop Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, but it still had a soapy consistency and did sting my eyes near the end of its use. I prefer an oil-based eye makeup remover due to my sensitive eyes. However, this did work amazingly at getting off waterproof makeup. I'd totally recommend it if you don't usually get stingy eyes! I won't be repurchasing, as I have a Christmas purchase to work through and then I will be purchasing dual-phase eye makeup removers.

The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter (Mini)
AMAZING. That's all I have to say about this. I love how each scent of the body butter's have their own consistency. I've used the Chocomania scent, which was slightly hard and balmy, the Honeymania scent, which was a bit more on the whipped side, and this one, which was almost like an amazing smooth Greek-yogurt-y consistency. I absolutely love the smell and it was so moisturizing. I will definitely be repurchasing in the future. I think it's perfect for early spring. Now that I'm in summer I'm using the Papaya tropical scent.

Bath and Body Works Fresh Picked Honey Crisp Apple Hand and Body Cream
I absolutely love this! I'm so glad that BBW introduced apple scents year round, as so many people crave their Winter Candy Apple scent all year long. I really like the idea of the fresh-picked line at BBW. A lot of their products are complex fragrances and I like that they're taking the one-note idea from The Body Shop to appeal to a wider audience. I also happen to really love this product. I didn't use it so much as a hand cream as much as a rich body cream. It is almost like whipped frosting in consistency. It's definitely thick but there's something light about it that sinks in quicker than body butters. If you can find it on a deal, I would recommend it! I might repurchase but have so many lotions to work through at the moment. 

Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner 
This was a pretty average toner. I was looking for a gentle, hydrating, soothing toner to use before my moisturizer and saw the "soothing", the cheap price tag, and picked it up. However, if you look in the first seven ingredients there are no soothing agents such as glycerin. Panthenol is actually the third ingredient. While not harmful and a Vitamin B5 derivative, it is also an alcohol. An alcohol-based toner is not going to be soothing! I didn't found that this did much to my skin other than take off a bit of extra makeup that my cleanser wasn't getting, which isn't the point of toner. I won't be repurchasing in favor of a glycerin-based toner. Takeaway: always check the ingredients, labels can be misleading!!

Philosophy Time in a Bottle
I'm not really sure if this little sample drastically changed my skin or not. Serum samples that make big claims are difficult. Since I don't have massive problems with wrinkles but I do have some and some scars and redness, I thought this would be good. It didn't break me out. I don't know, I can't justify the price but I would have to test the product for a longer period of time to see if it drastically changed my skin.

Matriskin Technology Vitamin C 5% Serum
Again, I'm not sure if this did anything good for my skin, but I did like using it. It is supposed to work to brighten the skin and fade scars, like most Vitamin C products do. I have replaced this with a glycolic serum and I feel like it's doing more for my skin than this did. Again, this is a high price item that I received in a beauty box so I'm not sure that I would repurchase.

Have you tried any of these products? Do you like a good empties post? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo, Kels

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Swoonful Nails: Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Blueberry

Ahh, I do love a good pastel. As soon as March comes around I bust out the light pinks and blues, baby yellows and greens and relish in the sunshine. Or at least I usually do. It's been a stormy spring over here in East Anglia and I haven't really been able to enjoy the spring and sunshine until recently! While I'm finally celebrating the season of open-toed shoes, I didn't have any nail polish to match my pastel addiction. I have plenty of jewel-toned shades perfectly suited for winter, but nothing to suit my mood for spring. Enter the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Blueberry:

This picture doesn't do it justice. While it looks like a bright light blue, it's actually an absolutely gorgeous true periwinkle with the sort of "bleached neon" bright that is so in this season. There's a perfect mix of that hint of purple and absolute bright blue. I feel so cheerful whenever I paint my nails with this color. As with most Barry M polishes, it goes on quite opaque in one coat, very even, and is gorgeous even without a topcoat. I found that it lasted around three days without chipping, which is pretty good for a high street polish! I love pairing this with a simple neutral outfit or even with a floral shirt. I just can't get enough!

You can find the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Blueberry at ASOS on offer for £2!

What's your favorite spring polish? Let me know in the comments!


~ no affiliated links ~

Friday, May 09, 2014

DIY: Mother's Day Gift Wrap

Hey loves! Do you have a mom, grandma, aunt, or lady-figure you want to celebrate on Mother's Day? I know I do. My mom is my absolute best friend. I don't know what I'd do without her and I'm gutted I can't spend Mama's Day with her this year. I thought I would share a lovely gift wrap idea with you all in the meantime and in honor of Mother's Day. 

I found this style of gift wrapping for my Nana's birthday when I couldn't find any gift bags and didn't have time to wrap a present. What I could find was this adorable green flower pot. Go figure. I'm all for getting your favorite ladies the best money can buy, but even if all you put in the pot (or bag..or box...you get where I'm going here) is lotion and candy, they're going to love it if you put a little extra effort to make it magical. And don't forget the card! 

For this project you'll need: 

A flower pot
Your gift of choice
Tissue paper (white, colorful, newspaper, whatever suits your style!)
Ribbon (again, you get to choose the colors here! You could even use washi or duct tape to decorate the side of the pot)


1) Find a suitable pot to put your gift in, make sure your gift can fit inside without showing too much. Whether it's a clay pot, a plastic pot, or a metal tin pot it will still look adorable. 

2) Take some tissue paper, scrunch it up, and put it in the bottom of the pot to cushion your gift. I put the tissue you care least about in here, because the only function of this paper is to prevent jangling noises and breakage. 

3) Place your gift in the center of the pot. 

4) Lay out a piece of tissue paper flat, find the center, and create a cone-shape from the tissue. You should have a pointed end and a ruffly end (the ruffly end is sticking out from the top of the pot in the picture above). 

5) Poke the pointed end of your tissue-ruffle-cone into the bottom of the pot around your gift. Repeat until the gift is completely surrounded and you can't see it. Zhoosh as needed to cover the gift and make sure the ruffles are suitable to your tastes. The goal is to make it fluffy, almost like cotton candy. 

6) Take your ribbon, washi tape, or duct tape of choice and about 1-1.5 inches down from the top of the pot tie your ribbon or create a circle of tape. This will dress up the gift and make it a little more personalized. I tied a simple bow-ribbon, but you can get as fancy as you like. 

Optional: I placed some of my Nana's favorite suckers (Sugar Daddy's in case you were wondering) in the tissue paper to look like flowers poking up. You could add candy or something else fun. You could also create pinwheels or tissue flowers to keep with the flower theme.
Tips: Get creative! It's important to have fun with the gift and not worry about perfection. They are going to love it no matter what and destroy the tissue paper anyway ;) 

I hope you enjoyed this quick little gift DIY! I think it would be great for any occasion, but especially Mother's Day. Let me know in the comments if you want to see more DIYs in the future! 

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Project Make-a-Dent: Part II

Hello loves! In an effort to actually use my makeup before purchasing more and inspired by Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, I have decided to do "Project Make-a-Dent" which prompts me to try and use a specific selection of makeup. My particular set includes some of my oldest lipsticks. The points of Project Make-A-Dent are simple: 1) use what you have, 2) save your money and spend wisely, 3) think about what you purchase. These are all very important, especially as I am a grad student on a budget and I have recently found myself picking up lip products haphazardly without realizing that I'm doing it. I don't need another lipstick! Read my first post HERE to see what products I started out with.

Two months I had six lip products in the pile, this time around we're at four. I wish I could say I used up two products in two months, but honestly I just left them at my mom's house when I visited her! Regardless, I have really been loving the selection. These are all beautiful shades of pink and it's been nice to rediscover my favorites (and realize that I don't need any more pink lip stuff...ever). 

Left to right: L'Oreal Infallible Lipstick in Forever Frappe, Maybelline ColorSensational Lipcolor in Summer Sunset, L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Lipstick in Rose Taffeta, and Cargo Lipgloss in Tuscany

I've definitely made a dent in my L'Oreal lipstick in Forever Frappe. It's such a nice pink/brown/mauve/nude that is a good transitional color through the cold part of spring. I've also used quite a bit of the L'Oreal Caresse lipstick, it's such a nice fun pink for spring! I can also feel that I'm down to the bottom of the Cargo lipgloss. It has been such a nice color to use on its own and to pair with all of these lovely pink shades. I haven't used as much of my Maybelline simply because the color is quite glittery and I haven't wanted to reach for it as much as the others. I think it's more of a fall and winter pink, as it's not as bright, but I'll keep using it. 

Like I said, all of these products are the oldest lip products that I have. I'm trying to stay very conscious of use-by guidelines for makeup to ensure that I'm staying clean and safe with my makeup. It's very important to sanitize your makeup often. Also be sure to toss your makeup as soon as it starts to smell strange or waxy, or changes in consistency. Two years is about the time to either toss your lipsticks or start to keep a closer eye on scent and consistency.

Are you doing Project Make-A-Dent? If you are, be sure to follow @lolassecretand  and myself at @lovinswoonful on Twitter and use the hashtag #projectmakeadent!