Saturday, 30 August 2014

Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara vs Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara - Review & Comparison

Hi everyone!  I have tried some really great mascaras recently, and I have a comparison review of another couple for you today.  I wanted to try one from a brand I didn't know too much about, and a quick Google revealed Max Factor makes some pretty decent mascaras. It seemed that the two of these mascaras were getting really good reviews - I'm terrible at making decisions so I just bought both :P  Let's talk about Max Factor's Clump Defy and False Lash Effect mascaras!

Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara and False Lash Effect Mascara Review Comparison
Max Factor's Clump Defy Mascara comes in a matte purple tube with silver detailing.  It promises bold, defined and volumised lashes - and of course, absolutely no clumps!  Max Factor's False Lash Effect Mascara comes in a matte black tube with silver detailing.  It promises a false lash look by doubling lash size appearance using their patented Liquid Lash formula
Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara and False Lash Effect Mascara Review Comparison brushes
Clump Defy                                                                     False Lash Effect
The Clump Defy brush is curved so that it hugs the lashline.  The brushes are precisely aligned so that the space between each is smaller than the average clump - pretty clever!  The formula also coats the brush perfectly.  The False Lash Effect brush is much larger and the bristles are longer, so it might be a bit harder to use for those with small eyes
Bare Lashes
Bare Lashes
Bare lashes
Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara Swatch swatches
Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara Swatch swatches
With one coat of Clump Defy applied.  I love the way this mascara looks - it blackens the lashes and adds beautiful fluttery length, plus volume too.  And, as you'd expect, there are absolutely no clumps!  I am loving this natural, defined and fluttery look at the moment, so this ticks all the boxes for me.  It's also very buildable
Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara Swatch swatches
Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara Swatch swatches
With one coat of False Lash Effect applied.  This mascara also blackens and adds length - there's definitely more volume than with Clump Defy, but I feel like I lose lash definition and it doesn't give the fluttery result I love.  It's still a really solid mascara, don't get me wrong, but it's down to personal preference!  I also feel like Clump Defy gives me more of a false lash look than False Lash Effect
I think which of these you go for is purely down to which look you prefer.  If you like the chunkier volume, go for False Lash Effect.  For me, however, that soft and fluttery length and volume is what I feel looks best, so I would always go for Clump Defy.  These mascaras retail at £10.99 each, which is right at the top end of drugstore prices, but I definitely feel Clump Defy is worth it!

Max Factor recently released a new mascara called Clump Defy Extensions that I am absolutely dying to try after loving the original so much.  I have no doubt it'll be mine before too long, although I really do need to use up some of the ones I already have before buying anything new ;)  There's also one called False Lash Effect Fusion which has me curious, but that's the way it always goes... the company releases a new version and I feel like I have to have it!

Do you like Max Factor mascaras?  Are these comparison reviews helpful?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Paint ALL the Nails

Hi everyone!  I have been painting my nails far more than usual in this past month.  This can only be a good thing, as it's about time I put my embarrassing nail polish stash to regular use :P  I also suspect it's a sneaky way to procrastinate on thesis writing.  I thought I should probably post about all of these various manicures before I forget what I was wearing!

I should probably apologise for some of these photos - many of them were taken in a rush before leaving the house, so sorry they're not as crisp as I'd like them to be.

Kiko Sugar Mat Spring Green Swatch fimo nail art cane fruit
Kiko Sugar Mat Spring Green Swatch fimo nail art cane fruit
In this manicure, I'm wearing a base of Kiko Spring Green from their Sugar Mat collection.  I then sliced some fruity fimo nail art canes and stuck them on with plenty of topcoat!
Kleancolor Holo Green Barry M Retro Red Cherry Nail Art
Kleancolor Holo Green Barry M Retro Red Cherry Nail Art
For these nails, I laid down a base of Kleancolor Holo Green.  Really, I should have layered this over a green creme base as the colour gets a little lost on my bare nail.  I then used a dotting tool to apply cherries using Barry M Retro Red.  I added the stalks with a green Color Club Nail Art Lacquer, which has a striping brush for fine details
Zoya Purity The Hungry Asian Kiwi Smoothie Darling Diva Polish Absinthe Leprechaun's Gold
Zoya Purity The Hungry Asian Kiwi Smoothie Darling Diva Polish Absinthe Leprechaun's Gold
For this manicure, I laid down a base of Zoya Purity, and then painted over Kiwi Smoothie by The Hungry Asian.  This definitely needs the white base as it's so sheer.  I then sponged on Darling Diva Polish Absinthe onto the tips.  On my ring finger, I'm wearing Darling Diva Polish Leprechaun's Gold, and I stuck on some gems using topcoat
Pams and Kin Radioactive Darling Diva Polish Sugar Rush
Pams and Kin Radioactive Darling Diva Polish Sugar Rush
This manicure makes me think of Easter eggs for some reason!  I laid down a base of Pams & Kin Radioactive and then topped with Darling Diva Polish Sugar Rush.  Please ignore the horrible bubbling, my topcoat had seen better days at this point :P
OPI Gargantuan Green Grape Barry M Key Lime Spring Green Zoya Holly Nubar Apple Pucker Crush
OPI Gargantuan Green Grape Barry M Key Lime Spring Green Zoya Holly Nubar Apple Pucker Crush
For this manicure, I created a skittle gradient!  From index to pinky finger we have OPI Gargantuan Green Grape, Barry M Key Lime, Barry M Spring Green and Zoya Holly.  I topped every nail with a coat of Nubar Apple Pucker Crush, which I got for my birthday from my brother.  I love how the look changes depending on the base colour!
OPI Gargantuan Green Grape MUA Luxe Pixie
OPI Gargantuan Green Grape MUA Luxe Pixie
OPI Gargantuan Green Grape MUA Luxe Pixie
Finally, in these pictures I'm wearing OPI Gargantuan Green Grape topped with MUA Luxe Glitter Nail Polish in Pixie.  This is a really unusual polish, with green diamonds and black bar glitter!

Hopefully I'll keep painting my nails regularly as I do really enjoy it and I feel bad when my collection gets neglected.  You can find Darling Diva Polish online here and The Hungry Asian here.  It seems Pams & Kin are no more :(

What have you been wearing on your nails lately?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base - Review & Swatches

Hi everyone! I am desperately trying to get through my backlog of things to review - I still have stuff from April I haven't blogged about yet!  However, I keep buying new fun things that I want to write about first :P I'm now going to try to be strict with myself and play catch up.

Rambling introduction over - let's talk about the ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base!  This was a purchase related to my quest to find a budget eye primer.  ARTDECO is a German brand I admittedly don't know much about so I was keen to see how this product performed.

ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base Review
The Eyeshadow Base comes in a small black cardboard box.  The product claims to improve durability, colour intensity and luminescence of powder eye shadow - that last claim isn't something you normally see!  It also contains Vitamin E and Bisabolol to soothe redness and protect sensitive skin
ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base Review
The primer itself comes in a dinky little black tub with a screw top lid.  I'm not the biggest fan of tub products, especially when they're small like this, as it means that when I dip my finger in I get product all underneath my nails - ew!  You get 5ml for £8, but I snagged mine for £4 as it was being discontinued in Debenhams
ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base Review
The primer itself is a pale beige with noticeable silver sparkle 
ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base Review swatch swatches
The formula is creamy and light so it melts easily on the finger tip and smooths over the skin effortlessly.  It does have a bit of shimmer to it.  I also noticed an incredibly strong aftershave scent when I swatched it.  It's not an unpleasant smell at all, but it's a bizarre choice for a product that goes on the eyes! I think sensitive eyes might find it too highly fragranced
ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base Review swatch swatches
Alone                                                                  Over ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base
The primer definitely intensifies and brightens up eye shadow.  However, it's worth noting that the shimmery finish can add a bit of a glow to matte eye shadows that wouldn't be there otherwise.  This can be avoided by carefully patting the matte shadow over the primer before blending, but it's something to bear in mind!
ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base Review swatch swatches
On application.  I found the base easy to apply and blend shadow over and it felt comfortable on the eyelids
ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base Review swatch swatches
After 9+ hours.  As you can see, the shadow has worn flawlessly - the primer certainly did its job!  I did sometimes detect the aftershave scent throughout the day, which shows how highly fragranced the primer is.  It didn't particularly bother me, but if you are sensitive to things like that this might be one to avoid

This is a great little primer, especially for half price.  It brightens, sticks down and generally provides a great base for eye shadow.  I love that it contains Vitamin E and Bisabolol so it cares for the eyelids as you wear it.  However, there are a few things I'm not so keen on.  The pot is a bit of an unhygienic form of packaging, and the incredibly strong aftershave scent was a bizarre choice on ARTDECO's part.  You also have to be careful when applying matte shades if you don't want the shimmer to come through.

I picked this up in Debenham's for half price as it was being discontinued.  However, you can still find this for the full £8 price tag on BeautyBay and for around £5 on Amazon.  All in all, a great little budget primer!  What primer do you use?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bomb Cosmetics Knickerbocker Glory Whoopie Blaster - Review

Hi everyone!  Every regular reader will know I'm a pretty hardcore Lush fan.  However, there's another British bath product brand I've tried a few items from before, and I'm always keen to try more!  Of course, I'm talking about Bomb Cosmetics.  Today I have a review of their Knickerbocker Glory Whoopie Blaster :)

Bomb Cosmetics Knickerbocker Glory Whoopie Blaster Review
Bomb Cosmetics Whoopie Blasters look like a doughnut - this one has two half spheres of white fizzy bath blaster mix, with a squirt of blue 'cream' in the middle that's made of slower dissolving butters.  There are sprinkles on the top, which really add to the doughnut effect!
Bomb Cosmetics Knickerbocker Glory Whoopie Blaster Review
Whoopie Blasters behave much like Lush's bath bombs, and fizz as soon as they hit the water.  You can see some of the sprinkles at the bottom of the bath!
Bomb Cosmetics Knickerbocker Glory Whoopie Blaster Review
Knickerbocker Glory contains Shea and Cocoa Butters with pure Amyris and Thyme Oils.  Bomb Cosmetics claim this has an 'ice cream and soda' fragrance, with wild fruit and red berry notes and a creamy vanilla base.  To be honest, I didn't get much scent from this at all - it was definitely sweet, but nothing more.  I believe most of the scent comes from perfume rather than actual natural oils too
Bomb Cosmetics Knickerbocker Glory Whoopie Blaster Review
As the Whoopie Blaster didn't contain much colour, it turned the water cloudy rather than tinting it an exciting hue.  The water was very soft thanks to the butters in the creamy centre

I really liked everything else I've tried from Bomb Cosmetics before, but this was a bit of a let down.  It just wasn't exciting enough!  I would love to try more from the brand, but they're quite tricky to track down in actual physical stores, and I'm a bit reluctant to order online as I'll end up way overspending.  I just made a virtual basket that comes to £30+ which I really can't justify at the moment!

What Bomb Cosmetics products do you like?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Nail Art Scratch & Sniff Strawberry and Watermelon Nail Wraps - Review

Hi everyone!  Today I have a review of some Nail Art Scratch & Sniff Nail Wraps in Strawberry and Watermelon designs.  I love nail wraps as a quick and easy way to get complicated nail art without the hassle of painting it yourself. These ones are fruit scented, making them even more exciting!  Let's see what I thought...

Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review
I really like the packaging of these nail wraps - they come in slim envelopes with cardboard fingers showing how they might look on the nail, plus a little sample sticker you can scratch to try out the scents.  You get 12 wraps in each, which is enough for one full manicure per packet (with a couple spares) or several accent nails
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review
Like most nail wraps, you apply to clean dry nails, stretch over the free edge and file away the excess.  There's a bit of a knack to applying nail wraps (which I haven't quite grasped yet) but it's definitely quicker than painting and waiting for your nails to dry
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review
The watermelon nail wraps feature slices of watermelon, with the red flesh and green rind giving a lovely pop of colour.  The slices are oriented in different ways on each nail, and there are varying sizes for each finger/thumb
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review
The strawberry nail wraps are a bit more varied, with full strawberry nails, polka dot nails with smaller strawberries, and pink and white stripes.  These aren't made of real nail polish, like some nail wraps are, but are the thin yet strong paper sticker type
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review swatch swatches
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review swatch swatches
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review swatch swatches
Here are the wraps applied - I picked a variety of the strawberry and watermelon designs for my full manicure.  The thin paper made these easy to stick down with relatively little creases, and they filed away neatly too.  I did find some of the sizes a tiny bit off for my nails, but not enough for me to worry about trimming them down
Nail Art Scratch and Sniff Nail Wraps Strawberry Watermelon Review swatch swatches
A photo of my right hand - much less neatly applied, but I wanted to show more of the designs!

Gently rubbing these nails wraps released their fragrance - the strawberry ones had that generic sweet scent strawberry scented products tend to have, but the watermelon ones had a delicious authentic scent.  I found the scent to survive through several hand washes and a shower.  Unfortunately, the wraps themselves didn't - I skipped topcoat to preserve the scent, and the paper wraps just disintegrated more and more as the day went on.  I had to remove them after 12 hours because they looked so tatty.  I'm sure topcoat would have extended the wear, but then the novelty scratch and sniff scents would have been covered up, which was the point of these wraps!

These are definitely fun for a night out, and if you don't mind covering up the scent topcoat could probably extend their wear.  I purchased mine on ASOS, but I've also seen them on Amazon and Urban Outfitters' website for around £2.50 - £4. 

Do you like nail wraps?