This year KIKO have put a different spin on their Valentine’s collection focusing on ‘Best Friends Forever’. For me of course the jewels in the collection are the lipsticks, available in six shades and typical unique KIKO packaging. Emblazoned with a heart in a colour matching the lipstick shade, it opens to reveal a heart-shaped bullet that is easier to apply than it looks. Passion Plum is a pigmented mid-tone plum shade with a gold shimmer frost that would actually be perfect for autumn/winter. Yes I know it’s February but well, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared is there? Plus the finish is quite unusual to find in less expensive brands, and as the collection is limited edition I couldn’t resist picking one up.
Valentine’s Day is a funny one. I can’t quite decide whether I like it as a bit of fun or completely loathe all the financial obligations of cards/flowers/jewellery/choc/etc. All the emphasis on relationships can also sometimes give off the implication that if you’re single there must be something wrong with you, which is absolutely, utterly, 100% not the case whether you’re on your own by choice or not. Still, I thought I’d demonstrate a little bit of romantic cheer by showing you the makeup I’d wear for a Valentine’s date with an S/O or the gals. Alternatively this lipstick also looks gorgeous wrapped around a ladle of Ben & Jerry’s, if that’s more your Valentine’s style…;)
Knock-out satin finish red with blue undertones and amazing formula. The most expensive one out of the five, but worth it. (*note I’ve shown the mini size of this in the above image, the bullets aren’t that small usually!)
This looks seriously orange-toned in the above pic but in reality it’s much more similar in colour to the other shades shown. The Unlimited Stylos are quite a strange formula in that they’re very different to any other lipstick I’ve tried – more like a liquid lipstick in a bullet. When you first apply them there’s a lot of slip, almost too much as they can be difficult to apply (I’d recommend a liner just to give your lips some shape), but they soon dry down to a long wearing finish. Odd, but I like it.
The formula of these is almost as strange as the KIKO lipsticks, but in a completely different way. The Moisture Stains have a thick-ish gel texture that goes on quite patchy/blotchy at first, but evens out as it warms up on your lips. There can be a little bit of bleeding, but if you’re looking for a glossy red that will see you through a few nibbles it’s quite good for the money.
Rimmel 107 has long been a blogger favourite, and after discovering it recently I am slightly obsessed too. It’s definitely a purpley/berry red that’s the darkest out of the five here, but it’s not in any way vampy or scary to wear. At just £5.50 it’s genuinely amazing – I may have already bought a spare to keep in my handbag…If you buy one lipstick from this post, make it Rimmel 107.
Of course I couldn’t resist putting a lipstick with a name like Flirtatious in to a Valentine’s Day themed post! I’m not a big fan of the Revlon Lacquer Balms as a whole if I’m honest, but this one is a nice spring/summer pinky red with a hint of shimmer. If you’re a bit intimidated by red lipstick, colours like these are a great way to rock red without the commitment as they’re essentially one step up from a tinted lip balm.
La Roche Posay’s original Cicaplast balm is a cult fave remedy for everything from sunburn to eczema, so I had high hopes for the lip balm version. I tend to really suffer from dry skin in the winter due to a combination of battering winds and moisture-sapping central heating, and it’s always my lips that end up in the worst state.
Cicaplast Lips promises to repair any cracks or chapping (chapped-ness? chap? who knows) whilst forming a protective barrier. It leaves a comfortable, semi-matte finish on the lips that is unique to any other lip balm I own and a good alternative to those of us who hate the look/feel of greasy, sticky gloss balms.
It moisturised well, but if I’m honest I expected more. I’m such a big fan of La Roche Posay in general so maybe my hopes for this were just a little too high, but I wouldn’t repurchase it again. It’s a nice product, sure, and I’ll finish the tube, but I wanted more than nice. I wanted great, and this is above average at best. The search for the perfect lip balm goes on…
A selection of the new breed of Lush’s solid have now come up from Lush Oxford Street, one of them being a reimagined You’ve Been Mangoed. The once yellow brick is now a lurid green lump of various oils and butters that could only ever be found in Lush. It packs an extreme punch, making my bathroom smell like a sherbet lemon factory for a good few hours so beware if you’re not a fan of citrusy scents. In fact I don’t think I could detect any hint of mango in this – lime was the over-riding smell, making it feel a little bit like bathing in 7UP or a seriously fruity Margarita.
It was actually a nice pick-me-up on my cold January evening, and I can imagine this being the perfect antidote to the winter sniffles as it would give your sinuses a good kick up the backside. All those moisturising oils left my skin feeling define too, so if this is what being ‘mangoed’ feels like I’d probably do it again!
First Aid Beauty is a brand I’ve wanted to try for at least a year after hearing such good things about it in the blogging world, so I couldn’t help treating myself to a couple of their Christmas gift sets.
This Cleanse & Exfoliate set is one of those and features smaller sizes of the Face Cleanser and 10 Facial Radiance Pads, both of which have a cult following but it’s the cleanser that really does it for me. The texture of it is unlike anything I’ve used before – it’s lightly whipped but still super creamy, and seems to have an almost pearlised luminescence to it that probably doesn’t do anything but really looks the part. Although it’s definitely a gentle enough cleanser to use everyday, I’m currently using it once a week as my exfoliant. It leaves my skin feeling ridiculously silky soft but without stripping it at all, or even feeling like I’m using an exfoliant. I don’t know how it does it to be honest, but I’m so glad it does. Favourite cleanser ever? That’s a tough one, but it’s absolutely up there with the best of them. Full-size purchase here I come…
The Facial Radiance Pads are a nice addition to my skincare routine but didn’t blow me away as much as the cleanser did. Once again you could use these everyday, as despite leaving my skin feeling soft and toned there wasn’t a trace of anything astringent or harsh. I’ve been using them instead of a cleanser on no-makeup days, but as those days have been few and far between recently I’m not even half way the 10 pad sample. I can imagine these being amazing if you have super dry skin that needs a daily exfoliant, or sensitive skin that looks dull but needs something really gentle to brighten it up. Personally though I wouldn’t repurchase these, as I think the cleanser performs exactly the same job but better and works out cheaper in the long run.
Overall though I am so impressed by my first dip in to First Aid Beauty. I will update you when I’ve had time to roadtest my other products from the brand, which I now have very high expectations for!
While on my weekly jaunt around Boots I couldn’t help but notice that there were four new shades of the Revlon Matte Balms, one of my favourite lipstick formulas of all time. A cheeky 3 for 2 offer persuaded me to pick up Fiery, Fierce and Passionate, leaving out Enchanting which I thought would be too light/peachy for me. Luckily the new shades are as gorgeous as the other colours I own, and they all have the same non-drying, super long lasting formula. Fab.
Fierce is definitely my favourite out of the three – a dark, neutral/slightly warm-toned 90s brown that is so popular as of late. Kylie Jenner would be proud.
Fiery is a rich, slightly blue, slightly brown toned berry red that reminds me of Rimmel 107. My only criticism is that it did tend to settle on dry areas of my lips, giving them an odd red/brown patchy look. this only happened after a good six hours of wear though and not every time I wore it.
I expected Passionate to be darker and more plumy than it is, but the shade itself is still a gorgeous bright pink that will take me well in to spring and summer.
This is really it folks. The highlighter to end all highlighters. After spending countless hours and pounds on various dupes and substitutes, I finally caved in and bought myself The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer. And wow-eee – I was not disappointed.
If you haven’t heard of it before, basically this is a super-glowy powder that packs a serious highlighting punch but without any chunky glitter or obvious shimmer particles. As ever it was completely pointless trying to capture its true beauty on camera, but a quick google search shows you the many who have nearly managed it. It blends like a dream, bringing life and light to the tops of my cheekbones but without making me look like a potato rolled in glitter (seriously – it has been known).
Is a glorified face powder ever worth £17.50? Probably not. But if it’s within your price range, I really really would recommend it. I highly doubt I could ever be without this now, though I know I won’t be repurchasing any time soon as the weighty mirrored compact will last me forever!
Peeping Santa is oddly enough one of the few Lush Christmas products that never really appealed to me, though I’m not sure why. As someone who’s a lil’ obsessed with any ‘butter’ (lip butter, body butter, buttercream, actual butter…) a bubble bar stuffed with cocoa butter seems like the dream. But really after trying it, i don’t think I was missing much. The bar wasn’t as moisturising as I thought it would be and the mild, slightly fruity-floral scent just wasn’t Christmassy enough. Sorry Peeping Santa, you are cute but for £4 there are much better Lush products out there.
One of my little Christmas pet peeves is when a gift guide classes gifts that are below £50/75/etc as ‘stocking fillers’! For me a stocking filler is under a fiver, and so all the products in this gift guide are indeed under £5.
“Limited Edition decorative hanging pack containing our bestselling nude lip bullet. Mini size for easy on the go colour, it twists up to give precise application with no need to sharpen. This soft blendable formula gives a dewy cream finish and vivid colour. The perfect gift for any make-up fan this Christmas; hang it on the tree, pop it in a stocking or keep it for yourself.”
That weird little blob isn’t really representative of anything, but essentially it’s a little block of different coloured soapy play-doh that you can mould in to your own Santa. Though I’m not personally too keen on the idea of rubbing a bearded man on me when I’m in the shower, Lush products make great little stocking fillers and you can pop a couple of bath bombs or soaps in a stocking without breaking the bank.
As I write this this is currently on offer at Superdrug for £5 instead of £8, but I don’t know when the offer ends so by the time it reaches you it might be £8 again. I still thought I’d include it as I’m a big fan of Makeup Revolution and that rose gold makeup bag is definitely calling my name…