Tuesday, 4 May 2010

MUA (make up academy) @ Superdrug

The new £1 range of make up at Superdrug, MUA (make up academy) looks, on first inspection, like it could have some potential. The packaging is basic but alright looking, it feels sturdy enough and the products are a good size. None of it looks really cheap, which it is, so a good start.

What immediately drew my attention were the eye shadows, they’re bright, bold colours available in 20 shades, 16 pearl and 4 matt. Over two trips I have managed to collect almost the whole set and I was super impressed with them they are phenomenal! All lovely colours and they go on so well, they are bright, last all day and they blend amazingly well. Also, several of the colours are exactly the same as other, more expensive shades from the bigger brands. So far there is an exact dupe of MAC’s blue brown (shade 12) and Kitschmas (the light lilac pearl )pigment and one which is very similar to a Barry M dazzle dust too (dark bluey purple shot through with pink).

I’m really taken aback by the quality of the eye shadows, they feel fantastic to use and look as good, if not better, than a lot of far more expensive products I own. I’m forever picking up cheapy make up bargains and regretting it later when they just don’t give value for money but the MUA range is definitely not like that at all. The matt colours aren’t quite so bright and vivid as the pearl shades but they still look good and apply well.

I also bought one of the blushes, very highly pigmented, goes on nicely and last really well, so another recommendation there.

However, I tried both the lip gloss products too, the squeezy tube and the wand applicator one and they are both rubbish, they taste weird and are thin and greasy and seem to slip off your lips into your mouth and they make me gag they taste so foul, I threw them both in the bin the day I bought them. So no rave review for them unfortunately.

Overall, I’m amazed at the quality of the eyeshadow, especially given the price and look forward to seeing if Superdrug decide to extend the range of colours, judging by the empty display when I went back in to have another look they won’t have any problem with excess stock in the near future. Go try some!

Eyeliner Swatches - UD vs MAC

Some colour comparisons of the new Pearlglide liners from the MAC Art Supplies collection and Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners.

In my opinion:

Black Line is VERY similar to Stash, it's maybe a tiny touch darker but not so you'd really notice. It may be more obvious on the eye but swatched on the back of my hand it was hard to tell the difference.

Undercurrent is very like Covet, it's a slightly deeper, richer shade and it does have more, but also more subtle, shimmer through it. Too similar to justify a purchase if you already have Covet like I do.

Industrial is totally different from anything UD make, it's a lighter, sparkly more lilac silver blue than an of the other eyeliners I've tried. It definitely take on obvious lilac tones when used with purple eyeshadows but looks more blue when matched with blue shades.

Petrol Blue is much richer and darker than Binge, it's what I hoped binge would be like.

Almost Noir is very similar to 1999, it's slightly darker but not much and there is a more intense quality to the glitter in it, but overall it's too similar to warrant a purchase for me.

Designer Purple is, again, a deeper, richer more glitter filled pencil but it is quite similar to the UD colours I already own. I suspect layering Lust or Ransom over Rockstar would give a very similar effect.

All in all there are really only 2 of the MAC pencils I felt I could justify buying, I would have loved to have all 6 but the other 4 colours felt too much like buying double of what I already own.

For those who don't own the UD dupes / versions of the colours then I would highly recommend the MAC pencils, the colours are really fantastic, bright and very shimmery due to being packed with lots of very fine glitter.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more Pearlglide liners in the future, let's just hope MAC can come up with more colours that aren't already available (and in my collection).

MAC Art Supplies - Pro Longwear Lipstain Markers

The Lipstain Markers were what really drew me to this collection, I have been swithering over buying a Givenchy Lip Stain marker for a couple of months now, but they are only available in two colours and are rather over-priced at £18 a go, for something about 2/3 of the size of the new MAC ones. So when I saw that Art Supplies included not only lip stains in pen form but 9 different shades I had to have a look.

Here’s what MAC says:

“Just as Art Supplies for Eyes invokes the vision, Art Supplies for Lips speaks to the ultimate in sensuality… Luscious lips drawn from innovative new Lipstain Markers and Lip Pencils to use like a modern multimedia artist would – design and discover! Incorporating the concept of art tools into the world of MAC makeup, these pencils and markers create dramatically different lip looks. New Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker has the doodle fun of a pen, but with sophisticated, light and long-wearing results. It’s all about artistic freedom!”

First off I need to clarify, this is a marker pen, for drawing on your face, a proper felt tip marker pen! That alone was selling me and then I swatched the colours. I left 5 minutes later with 3, I went back the next day for a fourth. I am already beginning to wonder if I should go back and double up on my favourites as they are limited edition.

Here’s what I got:

* Full of Flare – Bright yellow/orange-coral
* Stylesetter – Bright hot pink
* Point of View – Light-ish neutral with brown tones to it, darker than I expected
* Run way Ripened – Berry plum-red

I adore them, they are exactly how I hoped they would be and better. So simple to apply – it’s a pen! You just draw on your face with it!! – and they really do last, they are a proper stain which sinks into your lips and does not budge. They are supposed to last 8 hours, they don’t, but you can get a good 4 hours out of them with no touch ups and after that I find if I add a few dabs here and there the coverage is perfect again. They’re ideal for me, I like to do my face and then leave it and with the lip stain markers you can.

There have been reports of them being drying but I don’t find that, however I have been apply a clear or lightly tinted gloss over mine which is the suggested way to combat the drying issue. I’m not sure I would wear them totally alone but with even a touch of lip balm over the top they are fantastic.

And I am still not over the fact that I can now actually use a felt tip marker to draw on my face, it’s like MAC went in my head and picked out the best thing I was imagining. A pen, to draw on your face?! And it works! I’ll shut up about the pens now, but go buy some, they’re amazing.

MAC Art Supplies - Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner

MAC’s Art Supplies collection launched at the beginning of April in the UK, I have been very good recently and not really looked into the new collections at all, mainly because I get hideously sucked into the hype and end up feeling like I won’t be complete until I buy it all, so it’s easiest all round if I just stay clear of MAC. This collection was different though, mainly because I saw a review on You Tube of the lip products and decided I had to try them (more on them later). While I was in it would have been rude not to try out the eyeliners, here’s what MAC says:

“Paint it, scribble all over, Art Supplies is everything you need to paint the ultimate self-portrait: Different styles of art pencils create eye looks that are expressive and individual, for a new kind of PowerPoint presentation. The pencil portion of the collection focuses on a Greasepaint Stick in eight fabulous, limitedlife shades… the ultimate inky colour payoff is an homage to the success we had with Style Black and DSquared² last season. Use as a Shadow or Liner: ludicrously long-wearing, transfer – and water-resistant, flexible and five-star comfortable. New Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner with an exciting new shimmering sparkle effect, will also launch in limited-life, featuring six slick, smooth, sextronic shades.”

I tried the Greasepaint sticks and wasn’t too fussed, the colours are all too dark for me and I don’t think I’d get much use out of them, the Pearlglide liners however. :swoon:

I ended up with 2, as I was trying to be good.

* Industrial – A gorgeous blue, grey which takes on iridescent lilac tones in certain lights
* Petrol – Deep dark navy blue with a hint of shimmer

Industrial is like nothing I have tried before and absolutely gorgeous, it’s very versatile and changes colour depending on what you wear it with. I love it! Petrol is what I hope Binge from Urban Decay would be like, a erally dark, proper navy, again I adore it.

I also adored:

* Designer Purple – Dark shimmery violet/purple
* Undercurrent – Blue, green, teal, peacock shimmer

I am still torn over Designer Purple, I love purple on my eyes and it was a gorgeous colour but very similar to a couple of UD liners I have so silly to double up, Undercurrent is the same slightly different from UD’s Covet but not enough to justify the money. The other two Almost Noir and Blackline, cn be duped exactly with UD liners I already have, so silly to buy them. More on the colour comparisons later.

The pencils go on beautifully, really glide on, as the name suggests and the colour lasts brilliantly all day. They remind me a lot of the UD 24/7 pencils which is no bad thing in my book and unfortunately means I may have to check out future collections if they release nice colours that I don’t already have. They are very soft but I don’t find that an issue as I am careful when I sharpen and don’t use pencils if I want an exactly defined perfect line.

As I mentioned, the colours can be duped using Urban Decay pencils so I have done some comparison swatches to show that but I’ll put them in a separate post to keep it neat.

All in all, I really rate the Pearlgide liners and I almost wish the colours were slightly different so I could have more!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Nail Varnish

I used to be very into my nail varnish, but laziness and having short stumpy nails for climbing has put me off in recent years. However, of late, I decided I didn't have enough stuff to spend my hard earned cash on and have become a big fan again.

So hopefully, from now on, I will have lots of lovely nail swatches to add too, for now here are some recent shades:


So it appears the being able to post from work was a glitch in the Matrix and I actually still can't 99% of the time.

I have a load of stuff to upload and ramble on about, for now have a look created using the new MAC Art Supplies line which I am currently in LOVE with.

Back later with more Art Supplies details.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Illamasqua Vow pencil

I really am a marketer’s dream, I read a few reviews and watched a couple of YouTube videos recently which mention one of Illamasqua’s medium pencils; Vow, a nude shade which can be used on eyes, lips and face, wherever you like really as a highlighter and particularly in the waterline to brighten your eyes up instead of a white pencil which can give a really stark look. So, needless to say, I had to have one, although I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with it.

I’ve been wanting to try out some Illamasqua products for a while, also based on various reviews, as the colours look fantastic and they are supposed to be pretty good quality, so having a different type of product to try seemed like a good idea for starters.

The pencil was £12.50 and on first impressions it looked like it would be really good, however when I got it home I was slightly disappointed that using it in my waterline wasn’t much better than white at all and still made me look a bit odd, with freaky light lining around my eyes. All was not lost though, I tried it out on my cupid’s bow and around the lip to see how that worked, and it was fantastic! It looks really subtle, not like an obvious line, but it makes my lips look twice the size – in a good way – and properly pouty! A definite winner on that front.

It’s also handy as an under brow highlight, I struggle to get eye shadow to look natural as a highlight and don’t really like to pull it all the way up to my brows anyway, for fear of looking a bit too drag, so a nice thin pencil which can be smudged just under the brow is ideal for me.

Overall, not as successful as I’d hoped but definitely shows promise. Maybe with a bit more trial and error I’ll get it working right on my eyes too.

OCC Lip Tars

These are (one of) my new obsession(s). Here's what they have to say about them on the OCC site.
A stunning new innovation in lip color, OCC Lip Tar combines the longevity of a lipstick, with the ease of application of a gloss. Goes on slick and moist, and dries down to a satin finish. Ultra-saturated in color, Lip Tar contains an unprecedented amount of pigment - a little goes a very, very long way! An intense yet featherweight layer of color that stands up to the scrutiny of Hi-Def Video and Digital Photography, without ever looking (or feeling!) heavy. Meant to be mixed, Lip Tar comes in concise array of colors for a limitless selection of shades made by you!

Like all of our products, OCC Lip Tar is 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free, and is also free of parabens and other harsh preservatives. A simple, elegant formula that contains Hemp Oil, Peppermint Oil and Vitamin E, OCC Lip Tar feels as good on the lips as it looks!

There has been loads of hype about them on the web, and until recently they weren't available in the UK, so when they did become available to buy online I had to purchase a couple to check them out.

I ordered two:

They are very opaque, probably a bit too opaque for a lipstick phobic like me, but they do work well as a stain if you use a tiny amount with gloss, so I have been using them like that. I am not totally sold, and wasn't 100% about the colours, but when the site selling them sent me a £5 gift voucher and had an extra 15% off I did have to go back for another couple:


Needless to say, as soon as I had ordered these they put the colour swatches on the site (they had silly, tiny circles of the colours before) and now I am unsure as to whether I have made the right choice *panic*. However, before ordering, I did do a lot of research online and looked at plenty of videos and swatches, so hopefully the colours on the site are not exactly as they are in real life, I'm not quite sure I can pull off Uber if it is a muddy brown as it appears look?!

They are made to be mixed, so I am hoping with the four I now own I should be able to make lots of lovely colours. So far, even with only two I've found I prefer the colours I've created by mixing to how they originally come out of the tube.

Next on the hit list, annoyingly not an option when I ordered the previous 2;


It would be rude not to, it looks just my colour and they are giving money to cancer charities with each sale, so technically it's like charity, not buying more make up.

More on the Lip Tars later.


I have been hideously remiss in updating. Not that I haven't had anything to say, but I have, until recently, been unable to update from work and haven't had much time in the evenings. Hopefully now I have day time access I will be a little better at updating.