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Category Archives: Product Reviews
Sometimes you can’t beat a good magazine freebie! So when I spotted that the December issue of Glamour UK came with a free Nails Inc polish by Kate Spade I just had to pick one up. Considering the Magazine only costs £2 and a Nail Inc polishes usually retails at £11, makes it a pretty good bargain I think! The Nails Inc Kate Space collection includes four fabulous new shades; New York Noir – a true glossy black, Big Apple Red – a very glossy red, Uptown Glamour – a metallic gold and Soho Silver – a metallic silver.
Feeling a bit festive that day I decided to pick Uptown Glamour which I felt would be perfect for the Christmas season! And I was right….
Nails Inc polishes are always high quality and apply like a dream. Nails Inc Uptown Glamour has a non-streaky formula, needed about two coats for a lovely finish and dried super quickly. I love how the gold changes colour depending on the light hitting it. During the day it can almost look very silver-ish but then at night it’s a warmer golden shade. Either way, it definitely puts me in a festive mood!
December’s Glamour UK Magazine with Katy Perry on the cover, which includes a free Kate Spade Nails Inc Polish, is out now but be quick if you want to grab one because I think the January issue will hit the shelves very soon!
Have you got your copy yet and if so which shade did you choose?
Back in September I was invited to HIX at Selfridges to get an exclusive first sniff at the Reiss fragrances for him and her! British Fashion House Reiss is one of my favourite top-end high street brands because of their their beautiful but affordable luxury clothing and accessories.
Having recently celebrated 40 years, founder and MD David Reiss felt now was time to branch out into the beauty industry starting with two debut fragrances – Reiss Grey Flower for Women and Reiss Black Oudh for Men. Both fragrances are modern classic scents with unique formulations featuring hand-picked ingredients that represent style, design and elegance, all at the heart of Reiss’ DNA.
Ingredients were handpicked by David together with award winning perfume designer Azzi Glasser to create unique scents. When I was at the launch at Selfridges I got to meet the ‘nose’ Azzi Glasser herself, who told us she’d actually spent nearly four years perfecting these two fragrances.
“Reiss has an artisan approach to clothes, the attention to detail is phenomenal and this is something that I immediately connected with. David [Reiss] has wanted to launch fragrances for years but he was adamant that they should be sexy and smell expensive. Luxury was key.” Azzi Glasser
Black Oudh for Men is an alluring and enticing fragrance opening with fresh aromatic top notes of Laurel Leaf and green Cypress, descending into the deepest Heart accord of Sequoia Wood, Clary Sage and Vetiver. Finally Black Oudh, Black Musk and Amber at the base make this a magnetic and alluring fragrance.
Azzi feels that a fragrance has to encapsulate a moment, which could be a mood or even something more tangible. About Black Oudh she said; “I was inspired by a man’s neck. That warm smell when he wakes up. It’s a little dewy. Very masculine and unique”.
Grey Flower for Women is a seductive, mysterious and deeply addictive fragrance. The Armoise and Pimento Berry balance the seductive centre of Sequoia Wood, Jasmine Noir and Cocoa Leaf, followed by the velvety warmth of an addictive base of skin musks, Olibanum, Amber Crystals and Patchouli and Baies leaving an unforgettable scent.
“Grey Flower gets its name from hydrangeas which have a beautiful greyness to them if you look closely. The idea was to go deep into the heart of the scents. But not towards florals, we wanted something richer, sexier”. - Azzi Glasser
I was very surprised with these two Reiss fragrances as they are definitely not anything commercial. They avoided anything floral and made a bold statement instead by going for deep, seductive base notes. They might not be for everyone but that what gives them an edge and makes Reiss stand out against the standard high street competition.
Reiss Grey Flower for Women EDP 100ml - £49.00, 50ml – £35.00 and 30ml – £25.00.
Reiss Black Oudh for Men EDP 100ml - £49.00, 50ml – £35.00.
The Reiss Fragrances are available online at www.reiss.com and at Reiss stores nationwide. Plus from Wednesday 4th December until Monday 16th December Reiss is offering a personalised engraving service (£5) at www.reiss.com/parfums. Could make a nice Christmas gift?
Have you tried these new fragrances yet?
Being a beauty blogger I get to try quite a lot of different products but sometimes you come across a new product and just instantly love it. I have recently been using a new foundation a lot that I think is just lovely! Let me introduce you to Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation.
What they say; “The first-ever foundation with Liquid Light Technology that completely evens out skin for a totally natural, luminous finish. Think gel-covered pigments that mimic photo filters to blur imperfections. Created in Smashbox Studios, this HD formula was developed to keep up with advancing photo technology by giving you flawless coverage that’s undetectable to the naked eye. “
Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation is very lightweight and buildable sheer-to-medium coverage that gives me a smooth beautiful glow without feeling heavy or oily.
On my face: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (link) // Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation in Shade 2 (link) // On my eyes I am wearing a Beautiful Movements eyeshadow pigment in Dusty Road (link). It’s such a gorgeous shimmery golden beige that really makes my blue eyes pop!
The foundation has SPF 15 and comes in a handy pump bottle.
I love the flawless, luminous cover this foundation gives me and it really lasts all day, especially when you combine it with Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Oh and the people at Smashbox agree that makeup always looks better with a primer, and because of that they include a free sample of their award-winning Photo Finish Foundation Primer when you purchase their foundation online.
Have you tried this new foundation yet?
You might not know who Terry de Gunzburg is, but if you are at all into your cosmetics, then you are bound to have heard of her famous creations. Terry used to be the Creative Director of YSL Beauté, and while she was there, one of her most well known beauty products inventions was the ‘Touche Eclat’ concealer/highlighter pen. After leaving YSL in 1998 she decided to start her own make-up line called By Terry which focusses luxurious, high quality couture make up.
Her latest venture, to add to her already impressive resume, is her debut collection of 5 perfumes launched under the brand name “Terry de Gunzburg” rather than “By Terry”. The fragrance project has been a long time in the making for Terry de Gunzburg, with her main source of inspiration being the tradition of great French perfumes; citing fragrances like Arpège de Lanvin, Mitsouko de Guerlain, Bal à Versailles or Miss Dior (the original). Her five haute-couture perfume collection launced in September and I was very lucky to get to meet Terry de Gunzberg in person to talk me through the different scents.
On her new collection Terry said;
“It has taken me ten years to achieve this collection of ‘personified’ scents. I had to progress slowly in order to learn and understand about essences that felt right, which was a humbling yet enriching experience. I had to ignore the dos and don’ts imposed by trends or by a commercial brief. Free from any restrictions, I have followed my instinct to create pure, original and extravagantly high-quality fragrances.”
The Terry de Gunzburg Fragrance collection contains the following five Eau de Parfums and see below their the descriptions from the press release;
“Irresistible, delicious and incredibly sensual.” Thrillingly tempting, Flagrant Délice is infused with almond milk and sun-ripened fig. An alluring combination of modern materials with natural ingredients create a rich blend. Instantly, the bitter almond essence gives a carnal hint with notes of bergamot and mandarin giving balance. In the heart, Mediterranean fig, with vegetal and milky accents enriched with red currants melting in tonka beans and white musk creates an enveloping magnetism.
“A day dream to the most irresistible destination: luxury and sensuality.” Restrained when it comes to extractions and other distillations, the gardenia gives little away. A tenacious floral ensemble, with Egyptian jasmin and Indian Sambac jasmin together with essence of rose and its absolute, a touch of orange blossom, a trail of ylang ylang and a hint of Sri Lanka cinnamon become a dream of gardenia.
“A colourful scent with a passionate temperament that dislikes shades or grey and encourages emotion.” Parti Pris delivers its ‘Haute Féminité’ in seconds. Instantly recognisable, the tuberose is exquisite and compelling, revealing its power of seduction in a precious floral bouquet. The sweet, absolute orange blossom melts into the richness of the absolute Turkish rose together with a hint of an exceptional ylang ylang, created exclusively by the Maison Robertet. At the base, a surprising vintage accord through smoked vetiver and sandalwood together with Vanilla and Tolu balm. Incense, Turkish tobacco absolute, rockrose and labdanum echo ancient perfume accords. The resulting scent is the aura of chicness swathed in silk.
“Pure seduction, Ombe Mecure is an enchanting blend of iris and violet, which plunges us into the darkness of the night.” Noble, powdery, feminine and rare, the scent unveils all the facets of a delicious woody iris. Formulated with the purest iris ‘butter’, this olfactive treat flirts furtively with a few petals of rose, ylang ylang and jasmine. This subtle blending gives it softness with the darkness of the patchouli forming the spine of this fragrant composition. Intense, powerful and purring on the skin just like a feline, it reveals camphor-like vapours and a carnal instinct recalling mythical blends of the perfume world. Vanilla, with a base of spicy benzoin, the iris in fusion with the patchouli reveals more femininity. This blend with accents of violet, reminiscent of loose powder, red lipstick and of the classic chypre blends, is especially designed for the passionate characters.
Vibrant and sparkling, the fragrance opens a refreshing symphony of citrus notes. The bitterness of grapefruit, the blood orange zest and bergamot: awakening the heart, fresh as jasmine water, it is contagiously chic. With facets of roses and orange blossoms, it seems oxygenated, like fresh air. Indian sambac jasmine, with honeyed tones gives warmth together with orange blossom absolute, spices and dry woods. Muscat, clove and cedarwood bring this contemporary composition to life. A distinctively elegant fragrance with a luminously vibrant bouquet.
“I explored the rarest ingredients of the perfumery world for my first fragrance collection. An audacious alchemy between purity and intensity; extremes and simplicity. Fascinating accords of exclusive notes to enhance the skin and captivate the soul” Terry de Gunzberg.
After getting to smell all the different fragrances, I had to pick a favourite, which turned actually out to be rather tricky! My clear favourites were the Flagrant Delice, which is very pretty but modern because of the milky almond and fig notes and the Reve Opulant which is very much a sweet floral (Gardenia) scent but when paired with jasmine, rose and even cinnamon it makes it a very fresh, yet warm and contemporay fragrance.
I couldn’t help being drawn back to Reve Opulant so I decided that was the most ‘me’ of the Terry de Gunzburg fragrance collection. It was really interesting to try all the different scents with a group of people because others were not so much into the florals and chose more powerful fragrances like the Ombre Mecure and Parti Pris. It really shows how fragrances are such a personal thing!
I have been wearing Reve Opulent a lot recently and am secretly a little addicted to it. It’s quite different to my usual favourites perfumes but there’s something classic, elegant and feline yet interesting about it, that I just can’t seem to get enough of! I also love the design of the bottle. It combines infinite roundness with sharp cubic shapes making it sleek, traditional and luxurious.
This is me with the lovely Terry de Gunzburg in London at the launch of her perfume collection art John Lewis. She was very inspiring to talk to and so kind and friendly – it was a true honour to meet someone so well respected in the cosmetics world.
Have you spotted or tried this new fragrance collection yet? I definitely recommend giving it a sniff next time you are at your local department store.
Ok I admit I am a bit late on the party with this one, but a few months back Estee Lauder brought out the Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette Batik Sun (link) as part of their Bronze Goddess Summer 2013 Collection. I absolutely love this palette and I used it to death over the recent summer months. But even now that the weather has turned colder I still find myself reaching for this little beauty quite often. In typical Estee Lauder fashion, these powdered shadows are soft to the touch and blend very nicely. There is something quite sheer about the shadows yet with ultra-shimmer. They apply a bit like pigments in that you can build up the colour to achieve both a deep colour and super sparkle, to make your eyes catch the light and pop!
Let’s have a look at the colours shall we?
- Warm orange with golden sheen, very pigmented, satin finish (top) – a knock out shade if you have blue eyes!
- Peachy light gold, soft texture, applies like a dream, shimmery finish (right)
- Intense teal green with very subtle golden sheen, takes a bit of layering to build to full colour intensity but worth it, satin finish (bottom)
- Pale vanilla champagne, medium pigmentation, shimmery finish (left)
- Bronze shimmery brown, creamy satin finish (center). Stunning in the crease and as a liner.
There are so many different looks you can create with this palette, using the shades individually and combined. Here is a look a created a while back using the Batik Sun Palette. What do you think?
Products used: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer + Foundation // MAC Peachy Keen blush on cheeks // Peachy gold shade (right) all over the lid // Warm orange shade (top) applied to the crease and blended out // Shimmery brown (centre) applied to lower lashline // Curled my lashes with MAC eyelash curler – read my how-to post HERE // then I applied Bourjois Volume Glamour MAX Mascara // And on my lips I am wearing Bourjois 3D Effet Gloss in (53) Corail Artistic.
The Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette Batik Sun is still available online via www.esteelauder.co.uk and retails at £36 for the 5 shades in a beautiful golden compact with mirror. Do you like what you see? Well I am giving my readers a chance to win one of TWO Batik Sun Palettes! You can enter below, the giveaway is open internationally and closes on Friday 8 November. GOOD LUCK :)