#MyFaceMyRules

Oh, Sleek. I’ve been a fan for a while but now you just stole a piece of my heart for good with the launch of the #MyFaceMyRules campaign, together with the charity Ditch the Label, which fights bullying worldwide.

With a huge 75% of people thinking women look better with no makeup*, there is no wonder makeup shaming is a real thing. Having suffered from acne for way too long an relying on makeup to make my face look closer to how I felt inside (read pretty, confident, glowy and pain free), I have heard all sorts.

And if I hadn’t said it clearly enough: No, I am not hiding behind a “mask”. No, I am not doing it for men. No, I don’t need attention. No, I don’t dislike the way I look. No, not a whore. Or a clown. And no, I don’t have too much time in my hands. Thanks.

Sleek is supporting my statements. MyFace. My Rules does what it says on the tin: it’s MY face, I will make it up as I want. And for whatever reason I want, for that matter.

Here’s the strong campaign video which stars real Sleep Makeup customers and sums up how I feel:

At the campaign launch, the Lifeproof foundation also came into play. Now, I am quite particular when it comes to foundation so I am always nervous when a brand I like a lot comes up with a new one. What if I don’t like it?

I can assure this is not the case here. This is a generous medium coverage foundation which is highly buildable into full.

It is sweat proof, oil free and has soft focus elements for a great finish which is not dewy or matte – it feels super natural, a little goes a long way and it certainly lives up to its “life proof” name.

It comes in 24 shades and you can find out yours online. It costs an amazing £ 8.99 (30ml) but at the moment there a promotion on the Sleek site, for only £7. Bargain!

I’ve also been using the Hydrating Primer, which is super lightweight with a moisture-rich formula. The foundation glides well and fells great! It costs £7.99 (20ml) and is the perfect base for the Lifeproof foundation!

written by Dani

*Survey conducted by Ditch the Label and Sleek Makeup. You can see the full Makeup Shaming: the data behind the trend report here.

There is also a Sleek Makeup customer survey on YouTube that I can totally relate to.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

All night long!

urban-decay-all-nighter-foundation-review-1Pretty much everything Urban Decay does is quite amazing. Proof is that not a days goes by without at least one UD item on my everyday makeup.

I am a huge fan of their All Nighter makeup setting spray so when I heard they were bringing out an All Nighter liquid foundation, I knew I had to try.

Being a night person, nothing makes me happier than a foundation that stays up with me, all night long!

Date got (nicely) out of control and you’re getting that Uber of shame? When they say it’s fit for scandalous activities, they weren’t lying. It does stay (fact) and the ride won’t be that shameful (who am I kidding? I am shameless).

The coverage is full. You need a small amount for the whole face and the finish is matte.

Admittedly, it can show over dry patches (I am on skin medication at the moment so my skin is dry and flaky).

I make sure you super moisturise underneath and have a handy mist to top up during the day, whenever I can. I found that adding a drop of dermalogica phyto replenish oil to the foundation does help in that front.

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It does not sink on skin imperfections and the .0 shades with a yellow base have no hint of orange, which seems to be the case with some yellow based foundations.

I am using 4.0 which I find is probably a little bit lighter than the Naked Skin foundation 4.0, but still a good match for my skin, especially in the winter.

The formula is waterproof, paraben-free and it indeed blurs the complexion by diffusing light; it is also mattifying and oil-absorbing, thus reducing shine.

urban-decay-all-nighter-foundation-review-2And let’s talk about the packaging? I freaking love it. The steel-look cracked effect is NOT how your skin will look – or your mirror in terror of your reflection, for that matter.

This one came from the fabulous world of Fabled by Marie Claire, bought over Fabled.com and the delivery is free within the 1-hour nominated slot by our friends at Ocado when you spend over £15!

Of course, you can also get it at the Urban Decay website and their flagships stores and concession. The All Nighter liquid foundation costs £27 for 30ml and comes in 24 shades.

You can read more about Fabled – the shop, the online experience, the lot – on a previous post. And you are still on time for my 15% discount code VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

Beauty reimagined: Fabled by Marie Claire

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-1Imagine a gorgeous place where your favourite beauty brands come together. That would be enough, right?

Add some beauty experts edits and opinions, from a leading magazine, to make your life easier when choosing the best products for you.

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-2Then, top it off with a real shop full of friendly and approachable professionals in the counters.

Enough? Thought so, but there’s more: online shop with the superb Ocado delivery service, within a chosen 1 hour time slot.

Too good to be true? Maybe, but it’s real. All this is Fabled by Marie Claire.

And you can experience it right now as I have an exclusive 15% discount code for you, lovely readers, to start shopping online right now: VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October 2016. 

To me, the concept is genius: an online shop tons of amazing beauty brands covering makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance, supported by the magazine expert edits, reviews and trend watching.

Beauty lovers that might be short for time, or are not sure about what red lipstick to go for, now have a haven to make their lives easier and help them nail they beauty needs.

And The Fabled Shop in London’s Tottenham Court Road? Dreamy!

fabled-marie-claireI was about to place my order at fabled.com and decided I needed a new foundation. Took the opportunity to try the new Urban Decay All Nighter foundation.

So I went to the shop for a colour match, as I work nearby. Even though I told the lovely makeup artist on the UD counter I was not buying, she was lovely, helpful and super friendly.

I also wanted to get myself a new eyeliner – I went for Estée Lauder Little Black Liner. Obviously both will be reviewed soon!

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-3Now to the order. The site is clean, well categorised, so it is easy to use and find what you’re looking for. You can also look for specific brands, skin concerns, the Marie Claire edit and specific filtering within categories.

They have an online chat to help you in those decisive hours and placing the order is very quick and painless, with Ocado delivery (free over £15, £3.90 otherwise) slots from 5:30 am to 11:3pm.

And you can attach it to your grocery shopping. Now, that’s as exciting as it is dangerous!

Remember, you can get 15% off right now with my code VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October.

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-4At fabled.com and at their fabulous The Fabled Shop at 21 Tottenham Court Road, London, you can find Aveda, Aromatherapy Associates, Balance Me, Bobbi Brown, Benefit, bkr, Burberry, Clinique, Caudalie, Crabtree & Evelyn, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Essie, Eyeko, Estée Lauder, Eylure, ghd, Giorgio Armani, Gucci,  Hugo Boss, He-Shi, Lancôme, Lipstick Queen, L’Oréal Paris, Marc Jacobs, Maybelline, Nails Inc, NARS, OPI, REN, Rimmel, Seche, St. Tropez, Skin & Tonic, T3, This Works, The Balm, Tom For, Urban Decay, Zelens (breathe) and much more.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Got that (3D) covered!

vichy-dermablend-3d-review - 1Yet another product on my new favourite skincare/makeup hybrid category, anything that promises me exceptional coverage, as well as care for problem skin deserves at least a good go, given my skin history.

Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction takes the already favourite Dermablend, a market leader in subtle skin camouflage, to new levels.

The technology in this will flatten imperfections, turning 3D flaws into 2D. Alliagel texture innovation has soft focus agents and pigments to deliver a flawless finish.

vichy-dermablend-3d-review - 2It’s oil free, suitable for sensitive skin and has salicylic acid and eperulin to help combat acne, fight irritation and pigmentation scars.

Although it delivers superb coverage, it feels really light on the skin; it applies well and a little bit goes a long way. I am using shade 25, nude, and it has a respectable SPF 25 for protection.

Durability is good. After eight hours you start to feel the wear, but it will last at least ten in good condition.

vichy-dermablend-3d-review - 3And what’s more, there’s a whole Dermablend range with fluids, sticks, powder and body makeup, available.

The Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction is available in five colours and costs £21.50 for x ml and you can get it from selected Boots nationwide and online.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Makeup for the new season

gosh-aw16 - 1Mentioned many times before, but always worth reiterating: every season, GOSH launches something that stays it me until the next season. Fact.

This time is no different. Over dinner at the beautiful Sea Containers at one of my favourite London hotels, the Mondrian, GOSH unveiled their AW16 collection and they have a fabulous lot, which is already available to buy!

The new collection focuses on the Nordic/Danish raw beauty of nature. Key ingredients include bladderwrack seaweed, a brown algae that grows along the Danish coast and boast healing and regenerative properties.

Not long ago, I talked about the makeup/skincare hybrid trend, which is growing in the beauty industry; GOSH AW16 really invests heavily on this.

gosh-aw16 - 6I’ll start with my favourite product in the collection, the Overnight Primer Oil Essence. It won my heart just for being an oil. However, it is an addition to the massive selection of primers that GOSH offers.

It is meant to prime your skin overnight, by regenerating it to receive makeup in the morning. This oil is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids and caring oils, including French lavender, blackcurrant seed, argan and jojoba oils.

Great for using alone or combined with our your favourite moisturiser, it’s light and applies so well, being absorbed by the skin in seconds.

In the morning, skin is plump and radiant; repeated use has anti-ageing properties and help strengthen the skin. And the price is fantastic: only £14.99 for 30ml.

gosh-aw16 - 8Still on the makeup/skincare territory, comes the Foundation Plus+. With a dewy coverage, this foundation and concealer in one also provide nourishment from liquid sea minerals, hyaluronic acid and bladderwrack seaweed.

The coverage is excellent, but the result is very light and natural; it blends really well. Durability wise, it will take you through a work day, and it contains SPF 15 for extra protection.

It comes in five shades and costs£9.99 for 30ml.

gosh-aw16 - 9Also for the face, there is the super practical Contour’n Strobe Kit. A massive disc with a pretty highlighter, a soft blusher, a pretty bronzer and a great contour shade, for only 12.99.

Comes in two colours and it has everything for a sculpted look. The pigmentation is great, the consistency too; blending is easy-peasy.

gosh-aw16 - 5Moving on from skin, I have to talk about the Giant Pro Liner. This chubby eyeliner might seem impractical, but it’s a blessing for thicker lines – the way I like mine. The tip is just thin enough o produce a decent flick.

Colour wise is super black and lasts very well – no smudging or melting.

gosh-aw16 - 4 (1)More on eyes, the Lash Sculpting Fibre Mascara contains fibres in its formula that attach to the lashes, offering super volume and length.

The brush is shaped to aid that by lifting, curling and lengthening the lashes. The formula is creamy, non-drying and does not smudge.

It sells for £9.99 and also contains their star ingredient bladderwrack seaweed.

gosh-aw16 - 3What about brows? Covered! Also with fibres, the Brow sculpting Fibre Gel is a all-in-one brow product, offering colour, filling, setting and boosting.

The little brush is great to shape and the final result is natural and full. Comes in two shades and costs £6.49.

gosh-aw16 - 2Of course, their superb Velvet Touch lipstick range gets some autumnal matt additions: Cinnamon, Cranberry, Grape and Purple.

All very wearable and I cannot say enough how much I love the Velvet Touch range, a superb value at £6.99. I’m not stranger to this range; you can read my full review here; they are always with me!

Always worth mentioning that, apart from the lipsticks (which contain beeswax), all the products are vegan, and most do not contain perfumes or parabens.

You can get the whole new collection, and much more from GOSH at Superdrug, online and in selected stores.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Pretty face: Givenchy Teint Couture Balm foundation

givenchy-teint-couture-balm-review - 1Summer usually asks for a lighter foundation, which for me is s problem as they tend to have less coverage.

When I saw the Givenchy Teint Couture Balm I thought it would be way too sheer for my needs.

Surprisingly, this smooth balm, which unifies the skin making it look fresh, gives light but decent coverage with a flattering blur and illuminating effect.

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The “Light & Blur” complex helps conceal imperfections such as fine lines and blemishes, creating a more natural, lightly corrected and glowy complexion.

It has no oils and applies well; apparently it has some volatile ingredients that vanish as the balm melts into the skin, contributing to its lightness.

givenchy-teint-couture-balm-review - 3Durability wise, I’d say it stands a full work day with some wear; in warmer climates, it looks great for at least six hours.

The Givenchy Teint Couture Balm foundation costs £30 for 30 ml and you can get it from Debenhams, which has a fabulous range of makeup to cater for all your beautifying needs!

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

So Many Lovely Things beauty retrospective 2015: makeup

beauty_retrospective_somanylovelythings2015. What a fabulous year for the blog. I never expected all the amazing things that happened, brands, products and, above all, people I met.

Just amazing; I feel grateful and privileged.

Among so many great products I tried this year, it is very hard to pick my favourites, but here it comes. Without further ado, the best makeup of the year goes to:

Overall highlights:

Black lipstick

If you asked me, I’d have never in my life said I’d wear black lippy outside fancy dress. During the day? Oh no. But I did, and I freaking loved it.

It did something to my face, almost softening all of my other features. Did I mention I love it?

MDMFlow Di La La is THE black lippy to have.

charlotte_tilbury_makeup_john_lewis - 2Charlotte Tilbury

After resisting that all important first purchase as I did find the makeup was on the pricey side, I succumbed after trying a few fabulous items John Lewis sent to me.  Since then, I’ve added seven extra items to my CT collection.

Massive big up to the Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil and even more to the Fat Lashes mascara, which is indeed a miracle worker (review coming very soon).

Foundation, lipsticks, eye pencil, lip pencil, brow pencil, eyeshadows… everything is fabulous.

Lipstick

rouge_louboutin_velvet_matte_lipstick - 2Louboutin Rouge Velvet Matte Lipstick: beautiful inside out. I don’t think  have to talk much about this one. Too pretty to miss.

charlotte_tilbury_makeup_john_lewis - 1 (1)Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Love bite lipstick: usually a finish I don’t go for, a kind of lustre, but oh, boy, this is pretty. An orange red, with a fab sheen, but not too much, and great durability.

Foundation

hourglass immaculate foundation reviewHourglass Immaculate: replaced my long standing foundation and proved its price tag. One downside is the lack of SPF in this product. so close to perfection…

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation: not replacing the one above but worth of mention. Nothing I try for Tilbury is less than great. Together with my faithful MAC Studio Fix, makes for a cheaper everyday alternative to the pricey Hourglass.

Highlighter

hourglass_ambient_lighting_edit_palette_review - 4Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette: all the highlighting you will need, plus blushers and a bronzer. Just perfect.

thebalm_maryloumanizer_highlighter_review - 4The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer: the shade on this highlighter is just great. Not too gold, not too yellow, and its a fab multitasking – looks great on eyes.

inika highlighterInika Light Reflect Highlighting Creme: a fabulous product which delivers a great glow. Plus it’s vegan, organic and halal.

makeup revolution vivid baked highlighterAnd a special mention to my favourite budget highlighter: Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights. A bit 2014 but still going strong.

Primer

hourglass veil mineral primer reviewHourglass Veil Primer: reigned absolute this year. No contenders to this product; it fill all the expectations from a primer – it smooths, aids product distribution and duration, as well as making makeup sweat proof.

Eyeliner

nyx_twotimer - 3NYX Two Timer: a great, precise, easy-to-use product with fabulous pigmentation and durability. Plus a friendly price tag.

gosh xtreme gel liquid eyelinerGOSH Xtreme Liquid Gel eyeliner: the finish on this product is superb, think vinyl, with incomparable shine. And it’s immovable.

Urban Decay Ink for Eyes: a tiny tiny pen with extra fine nib for precision lining. Very neat.

Eyeshadow

charlotte_tilbury_colour_chameleon_review - 1Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil: easy to use, great durability, fab colours. Enough said.

Urban Decay Naked 2: yes, you read it right. 2. Even with the Smoky buzz this year, which I succumbed to, that old palette remains my favourite and is used daily.

Mascara

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara: Definition and separation: check. Non-clumpy formula: check. Longer lashes: check. Natural volume: check. Perfect.

nyx doll eye mascara reviewNYX Doll Eye Long Lash Mascara: definition, fan-effect and a pocket-friendly price tag.

Benefit They’re Real Eyelash Primer: what a surprise I got with this product. Separation, fanning, conditioning and a flattering brown tint that makes it wearable on its own.

Tinted products

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur: what a great surprise this was. Its mousse consistency delivers a surprisingly good durable coverage and caters for blemish prone skin. Win. Launches early 2016.

caudalie2Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser: good, radiant coverage, full of grape goodness and a handy SPF 20.

I am sure I missed some loved ones, but these are for sure, my beauty highlights.

What product was your favourite in 2015?

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This post mentions some press samples.

 

 

Changing foundations: discovering Hourglass Immaculate

hourglass immaculate foundation review10 years. The time I stuck to the same brand of foundation. Admittedly between different types, but mainly one for more than half of that time.

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Beginner’s budget makeup bag with Make Up Gallery

makeup gallery - poundland

Make Up Gallery launched at Poundland not that long ago. Having tried a good range of products, I can say they brought out a good line for the exceptional value of £1 each.

I think the range is perfect for younger girls putting together their first makeup bag.

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Poundland to launch exciting Make Up Gallery range

makeup gallery - poundland

I don’t even think I should open this post by proclaiming my love of makeup but here it goes – I love it. And I know lots and lots of people are in the same position as me and I am glad that Poundland is giving us a helping hand with the launch of the Make Up Gallery.

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