KIKO Rebel Romantic Collection - Review & Swatches

If you know me, then it's no secret that I love KIKO! I don't exactly remember when I first came across this brand (it's been that long) but I've been very impressed with them ever since. Whether it's their amazing packaging...let's just take a moment here...or their innovative ideas; sticky tape on their nail polish stands so that you can actually swatch polishes before you buy, pure genius!!! KIKO certainly knows what they're doing, and at budget prices. Honestly what's not to love!

So back in Autumn, they released their Rebel Romantic Collection, if you haven't got your hands on it yet then now is the time, "sale" people "sale" (not that their prices aren't ridiculously cheap to begin with). I personally picked up: 1 lip pencil, 4 shades of lipstick, 1 blush and 1 mirror (because the packaging of this Collection is all in rose gold and I just couldn't resist okay!). Let us begin;

Intensely Lavish Lip Pencil - 01 Peony

This is a beautiful pinky dark nude lip pencil with a hint of very sparse micro-glitter; barely noticeable and doesn't show up on camera, but definitely there. It's a beautiful everyday colour that you could wear on its own if it wasn't for the rather drying formula (the lipsticks are much better - see "Description" below). If you were to just opt for the pencil, then wear a balm or gloss over it because otherwise it's just too drying.

Described on the KIKO site as a "long-lasting lip pencil" with a "high-coverage texture". And "Its no-transfer and long-lasting formula improves the hold of the lipstick." While I would agree that it is long-lasting and non-transferring, it's quite unpleasant on the lips. I would describe it as quite "heavy", you can certainly feel it once it's on your lips, a bit "à la Mac Retro Matte" but I know some people look for that in a pencil. Mac pencils have a very similar formula and those certainly fly off the shelves.

But for me, I personally look for a pencil to be creamy and long-lasting such as the N°7 Precision Lips Pencil I have in Nude (plus it's twist-up, so no sharpening requirements), KIKO's lip pencil unfortunately doesn't measure up formula wise, but I certainly prefer the Peony colour over the N°7 Nude one, so it really depends on personal preference here.

Intensely Lavish Lipstick and Lip Pencil - 01 Peony

The lipstick definitely adds a bit more red to the dark pinky nude colour of the pencil (see the lipstick on its own below) but while I was hoping it would also add more moisture, it didn't. And while I thought the pencil was "heavy" on the lips, the lipstick just made it even more cumbersome. It's such a shame because I really love both the colour of the pencil on its own and the combo with the lipstick. But this is a combo you do have to be prepared for "à la Mac Retro Matte", that is to say to have nicely exfoliated hydrated lips before applying and expect dehydration galore by removal time.

But now let's talk about the lipsticks on their own, because that's a much happier story, but first swatches:

Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 01 Peony

This is a gorgeous colour, slightly redder and lighter than its "matching pencil", but still a very beautiful everyday pinky nude.

Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 04 Mild Sangria

I would describe this colour as a very warm toned cherry pink with a smidgen of brown to it.

Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 05 Heavy Cherry

This colour is a true blue toned cherry pink, not too bright and in your face, a very complementary classic pink colour.

Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 06 Melodious Wine

If you mixed Mild Sangria and the Heavy Cherry lipsticks and made them a bit darker you would get Melodious Wine. A gorgeous dark pinky red brown with a very slight blue undertone, exactly like a bottle of red wine (wait, those are technically green...like red wine then).

DESCRIPTION

Let's first talk about the amazing packaging these lipsticks come in. All rose gold with sleek minimalist labelling and a magnetic seal, you could spend all day just opening and closing your lipstick, it's that satisfying (...and hypnotic). The magnetic seal is also strong enough that the lid doesn't come loose in your handbag. I think we've all experienced that "moment" with flimsy packaging; RIP lipsticks and, in worst case scenarios, handbags too. Honestly, if I ever came out with a makeup line (let's dream big here people!) I would undeniably want KIKO manufacturers to be on my case. With the packaging alone you can hardly believe the £6.90 price tag, let alone their amazing formula.

The lipsticks are described on the KIKO site as having a formula which "contains orchid extract, corn oil and gotu kola," and a texture which "transforms into a liquid that coats the lips in an intense and ultra-shiny colour." While all my photos do indeed show off this said lipstick sheen (as I had just applied the swatches before taking the photos) it dries down slightly more matte, but all the while staying rather moisturising. And unlike the preceding pencil, you can barely feel them on the lips. Plus for all my "perfumed products" hating peeps out there, there is no smell or flavour to these lipsticks. Personally I really don't mind either way, but I know "perfumed" and "flavoured" is bothersome for some, so worth mentioning.

APPLICATION

The lipsticks come in the standard pointy lipstick shape (not sure how else to describe the shape to be honest, other than the highly descriptive "pointy"), so super easy to apply straight from the bullet. I also found that if you rub/blend the lipstick in with your ring finger once you've applied it from the bullet, you get the "real" finish much sooner and it stays on your lips for a tad longer.

WEAR

Lovely wear from these lipsticks, as they are more on the moisturising end of the spectrum they do wear-off a lot quicker than a true matte. I'd say 3-4 hours (and after eating of course) before needing re-application. But they wear-off beautifully evenly too, leaving you with a "stained" quality to your lips that is very pretty.

REMOVAL

Simple babywipe or makeup wipe will do :)

CONCLUSION

Gorgeously packaged and formulated lipsticks with no smell or flavour to them. "Barely there" feeling whilst being moisturising and slightly matte. My only criticism would be the colour range...although beautiful, they are all from a very similar colour category (dark fuschia/magenta pinks) with only minor alterations between shades.

Also KIKO seem to have an issue with names on their products. Numbers will always appear on packaging but the names sometimes will (the blush from this Collection has both name and number), sometimes won't (lipsticks and pencils). Their nail polishes are also never named on the packaging even though they do in fact have names (according to their website, where again both names and numbers always appear there). But I can hardly blame the Rebel Romantic Collection for this incongruity that is found across the brand.

Rebel Bouncy Blush - 04 Passion Red Wine

This is the darkest and brightest blusher from the Collection. As you may know from my previous blush post I'm really not afraid of some colour on my cheeks, I admit I may sometimes go a bit overboard (but I love the doll effect okay). Hence why this bright reddy pink colour intrigued me the most.

Described on their site as a "blush with a new sensory aspect and a satin matte finish. A lightweight powder combines with a new consistency that's extra soft, supple and highly blendable for a unique product."

I've certainly never come across a blush with quite this consistency before, that's for sure! It's like a finely milled powdery cream. I know that doesn't sound the most appealing but I don't know how else to described the texture. It feels like a "hard" cream in the compact, not as "petroleum jelly-ish" as most cream blushers are, but I wouldn't apply it with my fingers like a cream (because the pigmentation doesn't apply evenly without a fair amount of rubbing, hence displacing foundation). Definitely has to be applied with a brush like a powder, and it has more of a "satin matte" finish like a powder, not the dewiness of a cream. So powdery cream it is!

Although I did have very minor patchiness, overall the blush applied like a dream! The colour wasn't too intense either, I tapped my brush into the product as I normally would with one of my Clinique Cheek Pop blushes and the pigmentation was there. I can see how you can quickly have too much on your cheeks especially with this colour, so if you're scared just dab your brush off a bit on the back of your hand and you should be fine. Certainly worth trying, simply for the unusual but excellent formula.

So there you have it, my pics from KIKO's Rebel Romantic Collection. Do try and get your hands on a couple of lipsticks if you can, especially now that KIKO has recently opened quite a few stores across the UK (no longer just a London store) including a great one in Bluewater. No excuses, go! I dare you not to fall in love with them just like I did :P

Have you picked up anything from the KIKO Rebel Romantic Collection? If so what, and what did you think of it? Would love to know :)

Have there been or currently are any KIKO Collections that must be checked out?

Who does your favourite lipstick packaging (don't worry about budget for this question)?

Has a new KIKO store recently opened near you? What do you think?

 

xxxemma

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Winter Saviours

As someone who had very oily skin for most of my teenage life, Winter dryness was never something that really affected me. But fast forward to my mid-twenties (I'll be 24 forever I tell you!) and my skin has certainly dried up (I was on Accutane for a year in the process but even then my skin wasn't this dry). So what are my Winter saviours, I hear you ask?...

Let's start with something that I use all year round; the Body Butters from The Body Shop (except in the height of Summer when I still moisturise but using something a lot lighter like a lotion). I always slather these on after shaving my legs, because they never fail to soothe the skin.

However as an acne sufferer (Yes you heard correctly, Accutane did not work for me, and I would not recommend it to anyone, let's just say my health has not been the same since) I can't moisturise anywhere else (especially the "décolleté" area and the top of the back i.e. shoulders) without getting acne in those areas as a consequence. This is just something I've noticed with my skin, it has to be at a certain level of dryness to be acne free (I've noticed this on my face too). Luckily my body wash provides all the moisture I need for the rest of my body (Dove's Winter Care with Nutrium Moisture, if interested), but if you're not an acne sufferer then by all means...bathe in the stuff!

Speaking of Body Butters, Origins' Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is like a Body Butter for your FACE!!! It definitely has the same consistency as one, and moisturises just as well. Now as I don't fancy getting this stuff all over my pillows and hair I have yet to use it for its intended purpose, which is to say "overnight". However on a makeup-free day (where I don't have to go anywhere) I put it on in the morning and rinse it off with my evening bath, and I more or less get the intended amount of hours with this on. The first couple of times I used it, it saved my skin from the dry rashes I was suffering from on the top of my cheekbones (this was before I discovered the La Roche-Posay Effaclar H which I'll be talking about next), since then I've been rather more diligent in its usage. As I've mentioned before, too much moisturisation gives me acne, but if I'm ever that dry again, this will be the product I turn to!

As for La Roche-Posay's Effaclar H, it's specially formulated for dry skin which has been or is currently under drying acne treatments (i.e. Accutane, Epiduo cream etc.): that's me! But I did initially try the Avène HYDRA which is the exact same idea (for drying acne treatments) but it didn't sink into my skin at all!!! As I sleep with an eye mask (I can't get to sleep otherwise) the product would somehow stick to the eye mask at night and when I took it off in the morning so did the top layer of my skin on the cheekbone; hence the irritated dry rash that was saved by the Origin's Drink Up Mask. After several months of this Avène HYDRA which on a side note made my skin look greasy (I know a novelty, very dry skin that looks greasy = product not sunk in) I went to the pharmacist (like France, this is where all our good skin care is sold...no branch of Boots here for us I'm afraid) and I described my predicament, so he just recommended Effaclar H, and lo and behold this one works and sinks in! Yay!!!

As in Winter I have more of a dry combination skin, the Effaclar H goes on my cheeks and the dry areas of my face and on the T-zone/more oily areas I put Avène's Cleanance MAT Mattifying Emulsion (which I've been using for years around my dry mouth area, hence why I tried Avène in the first place). Now it might seem like a bit of a faff to use two different moisturisers to some of you, but I can really tell a difference in my skin since I've been doing this trick. I'm only giving my skin the extra moisture where it actually needs it, instead of just putting it everywhere and overloading some areas of my skin to the point it can't cope (where I then get acne). So if you're in need of an extreme moisturiser, I would highly suggest La Roche-Posay's Effaclar H: plus it doesn't leave you looking greasy, which is a bonus!

Going back to the idea of masks, I'd like to talk about Garnier's Fructis Nutri Repair 3 hair mask. This baby has been a repurchase of mine for nearly 10 years, it's that good! When I started dyeing my long hair (around 15 years old) my hairdresser told me to keep it hydrated using masks. Up to that point I had only used conditioner. Since then I've ditched the conditioner and have only used this Nutri Repair 3 from the bottom of my ears to my ends (which is now a lot shorter since I cut my waist length hair to a bob...#NoRegrets) and my hair has been in excellent condition since, no matter how much dyeing I did.

The tub says to leave in for 1 minute but I like to leave it in for at least 15 whilst I wash and shave the rest of my body (I'm not a gorilla, I just mean legs duh!), but it's up to you. Also as a side note I've tried many different masks from the Garnier range and although I love the scent of many of the other ones too, I don't find my hair coming out quite as hydrated after I use them. So if I fancy mixing up the scent of my hair mask a bit, I will mix in some of the Nutri Repair 3 with another one.

Also as a side note; I like to add an oil to the ends of my hair once dry (literally a pea-sized amount) and my favourite is the L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil for all hair types. The bottle I'm currently using I've had for 3 years and I'm just half way through it (you use so little), you definitely get your money's worth. So if you have long hair try this out too!

P.S. my hair gets greasy at the roots which is when I know I need to wash it, every 4 days...#DryShampooisLife! So I'm not sure how this would work in hair that just gets drier if you don't wash it, maybe try the mask higher than your ear point? I don't really know...sorry

Finally we have the "crème de la crème" that is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel. You've probably already heard about this cult product, but for the longest time I refused to give in to the hype, how good could it really be? Plus I had already tried a Nuxe's hair oil which did absolutely nothing (this was before I discovered the L'Oréal one, mentioned above), so my expectations for this brand were pretty low. Last Summer however my normal lip balm just wasn't cutting it anymore, I applied it twice daily and would still get dry flaky lips, so despite my apprehension I went out and bought Rêve de Miel.

I've not looked back, it truly is as amazing as everyone says!!! It's a thick balm that makes your lips instantly hydrated, it fixes flaking problems and your lips will never look better! No really, I didn't know my lips could look this good (I thought slight flaking was a natural part of life) plus it doesn't have that greasy slippery formula that some lip balms have, it's a very "creamy" balm.

The only thing I don't like about this product is the flavour, you would think that it would taste of honey from the name (not that I like honey flavour any better), but mine (and another girl's on YouTube I discussed this with) tastes of lemons (hence the photo). My product is still in date, and it doesn't specify lemon flavour on the packet so I'm assuming it's the original. After brushing my teeth and putting this on I definitely have the flavour of lemon sherbet on the lips and it's just really not my favourite! I like things to be candy or fruit flavoured (yes I know lemon is a fruit! But more along the strawberry or raspberry route).

So there you have it - my Winter saviours, hope this helps some of you...flips hair "the cold never bothered me anyway!" (I'm sorry I had to...Olaf made me do it! Hey count yourself lucky I didn't make a "Winter is Coming" joke)

Do you have any products that are a must-have in these drier months?

What's your favourite Body Butter scent? Mine is definitely the Glazed Apple one, although the Peach one is good too, oh and the Passion Fruit one...ok I may have a top 5 if I'm honest with myself.

Does your Rêve de Miel taste like lemons, or do I just have weird taste buds?

P.S. I tried to link as many of the products mentioned, to English websites (none of the links are affiliated; as I said in my Facts I would always let you know). Unfortunately I couldn't find the Dove's Winter Care in body wash format on the Boots website (they had other products from that line though) nor the Garnier Nutri Repair 3 hair mask (which apparently is called hair balm in the UK). Definitely try a Garnier hair balm if you can, it might not be as hydrating as the Nutri Repair 3 but it will certainly be more effective than other brands you may come across (I tried a L'Oréal mask when I was at uni in Edinburgh and couldn't easily repurchase my Garnier one, and it did nothing other than leave my hair smelling like laundry detergent, not quite what I was looking for).

 

xxxemma

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Clinique Cheek Pop Blush "US exclusive" - Pansy Pop - Swatches

Arm Swatches L to R: 02 Peach Pop, 03 Berry Pop and 15 Pansy Pop

Pansy Pop was the main reason for my US beauty order that I talked about in my previous post (in which I cheekily added the Sephora Cream Lip Stains). 

If you can recall, Clinique came out with these flowered beauties last Spring (2014). From that very popular original line I only purchased two: 02 Peach Pop (an orange) and 03 Berry Pop (a bright magenta pink, i.e. a red toned pink).

I gravitated towards these two colours because I felt that 01 Ginger Pop was a "watered down" version of Peach Pop and the same thing goes for 04 Plum Pop, a "watered down" version of Berry Pop. And this is pretty much the only criticism I can make of these blushers; the repetitiveness of the colours!

This is why when I spotted the 15 Pansy Pop (very blue toned pink, i.e. a light mauve) colour as one of the new releases of this year's Spring Collection I was ecstatic! Swiftly followed by extremely gutted when I found out it was a "US exclusive" :( Once again, I feel that the new UK releases are just another "watered down" version of what we have already seen, and unfortunately because of that I'm not buying any of said new UK ones. Admittedly 14 Heather Pop is more of a light brown toned pink, but built up it's just too similar to Berry Pop for me (when using a lighter hand to apply).

The amazing thing about these blushers and what simultaneously shoots them in the foot; is the versatility of the product! Let me explain!

They are extremely buildable, which means that you only truly get the intense colour from the container gradually (depending on how heavy handed you are). So if you're afraid of bright looking blushers, don't be! If you just want a lighter wash of colour, a quick couple of dabs (I use my retractable N°7 blush brush I got in a Christmas limited edition set years ago) should do the trick, and if you want something more intense...just keep building.

This is not to say that it takes forever to get to the final colour, on the contrary the pigmentation is sublime, and I don't quite know how this product manages to have simultaneously irreproachable pigmentation while sustaining extreme buildability. And this is how Clinique have shot themselves in the foot. If you want something more akin to Plum Pop then just use a lighter hand on Berry Pop (that's why I say that the former is the "watered down" version) and there you have it! Hence, they have made it very unnecessary to own all of the colours!

Clinique 7 Collage cheek yes.jpg

15 Pansy Pop

This is a beautiful and unique mauve shade, a very blue toned pink, that you might think has the potential of not being flattering but "au contraire, mon frère" it really is! Furthermore, the colour for some reason really carves out your cheek bones. In the picture above, I have ZERO contouring products (they're not really my thing), and while admittedly I have been blessed with quite strong cheek bones (and jawline) they aren't usually so pronounced. That, right there, is mostly down to Pansy Pop!

APPLICATION

Lovely pigmentation, however it takes quite a bit more product (than the other two I mentioned from the original line) to build up to a satisfying colour. Mind you, I like my blusher to be a bit more obvious than just a tiny wash of colour, as I feel it gives me more of a doll-like softness to the face which counteracts my strong jawline.

Zero patchiness, it looks like you've applied a cream blusher without the hassle of said consistency! I don't know how people apply cream blushers without smearing their carefully applied foundation, and if you have acne, the concealer. For acne sufferers, you know that cream blushers are a no-go, unless you want to spend hours doing and redoing your makeup after the blusher has destroyed half your application. Well this is your solution! If you like the look of cream blushers but can't be bothered with the hassle just get your hands on a couple of these and you won't look back.

WEAR

Amazing wear on this product, what you put on in the morning is what you take off at night! This might sound redundant to some of you but if you've experimented with your blushers a bit, you know this is not a given. For example, when I'm applying my N°7 blushers I know that in the morning I can get away with being a bit more heavy handed because the colour will wear off a bit during the day. Or an even cheaper blusher I used that ended up being patchy at the end of the day...not a pretty sight.

But these Clinique blushes are the first blushers I've owned to remain consistent with what I applied in the morning...and Pansy Pop is no exception! 

PACKAGING

I though I would add this category because it's impossible to ignore how pretty these blushers are, they come in a clear plastic casing with the Clinique logo printed in silver on the front. This alone gives these blushers a nice clean sleek look, but the star of the show is of course the Gerbera flower print, so fresh and Spring-like! The embossing might scare some of you from ever using the blushers and spoiling the design. But let me reassure you, I've been using my Berry Pop almost daily for practically a year and as you can see from the photos, although worn, the design is still clearly visible (I dab my blush brush to pick up product though, I never swirl, so that could be a factor). There's certainly no denying that these beauties will look stunning on your dressing table!

M.A.C. Amplified Lipstick - Up The Amp and Essie - Splash of Grenadine

MAKEUP

This Spring, before I even owned anything close to this blusher colour, I've been gravitating towards more of a mauve-y pink. It started off with Essie's Splash of Grenadine for which I bought Mac's Up The Amp to match (because I love matching my nails to my lipstick...well not when I'm painting them blue...obv) and no drugstore lipstick came close to matching (I don't usually buy Mac lipsticks because I love drugstore so much). Some of you might think that matching lips to nails is a bit too old school, but I still love it; I think it's a true classic! And by pairing more unusual colours (like a mauve-y pink) you're bringing it up to date :) And Pansy Pop harmoniously completes this little matching trio, a gorgeous combination that I've really been enjoying as of late. <3

Clothes wise, instead of the stripy top (you know the one, the Parisian looking one that everyone and their mother owns) I was sporting with these nails and lips during the Spring, I'm wearing a dark plum/purple jumper, which gives this makeup look an instantaneous Autumn feel while still staying very fresh looking (sorry I don't have any outfit photos and you can only just about see the purple roll neck). 

For the eyes, I used a couple of pink eyeshadows from my BHCosmetics 120ColorsPalette in the socket line and outer corner (I did a V-shape) while the eyelid just had a plain nude/taupe-y eyeshadow on it, that I have from a random l'Oréal palette. My mascara is the final touch to this very pink and purple look as I added my adored YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils in 4 (a gorgeous purple/black mascara)

There you have it a gorgeous makeup look (if I do say so myself) to pair with this fantastic blusher.

Clinique 11 Collage mag yes.jpg

Have you picked up any of the Clinique blushers? If so which ones?

What blusher formulas have you been blown away by?

What are the most "unique" blusher shades that you own? I really wish I could get my hands on the Clinique Cheek Pop in "Sephora's exclusive" 07 Cola Pop, it looks so amazing! Alas, living in Belgium there is only so much you can do ;)

 

xxxemma

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Sephora Cream Lip Stain - Review & Lip Swatches

For the longest time, I heard beauty gurus sing the praise of these liquid lipsticks and I really wanted to try them out for myself. However living in Belgium with zero Sephoras and no immediate travelling plans to the US or even my neighbouring France, what was I to do?

Well this is where my amazing distant relative (my cousin once removed) that lives in America comes in. She generously took the time to ferret these out for me and send them, along with a "US exclusive" blusher from Clinique, but more on that in a future post ;)

Was it worth it...I hear you ask? Absolutely, these things are truly amazing, definitely worth trying out for yourself; hopefully your access to these beauties is a lot easier than mine :P

P.S. All colours have been corrected in photoshop to give you the most accurate idea of what the swatches looked like on the lips in daylight as opposed to what the camera sometimes picks up.

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14 Blackberry Sorbet

One of the darkest of the collection, I thought this would be perfect for the Autumn & Winter seasons. The slight blue sheen you see on the bottom lip of the bottom right swatch was just the effect of the flash. This colour really doesn't have such a sheen in real life, the top right picture is the most accurate in that respect (I really didn't know how to photoshop out that sheen unfortunately, otherwise I would have)

APPLICATION

Slightly finicky. You can see that the product sort of collected at the edge of my top lip, but if you wipe that line off using a tissue and sort of dab the sponge applicator, you should be ok.

 

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13 Marvelous Mauve

This is the "your lips but better" one of the collection (does anyone else roll their eyes when they say this or hear someone else say it?). Apart from the weird fluorescent pink outline I got with this at the end of the day (see further on in WEAR) this is one of my favourites of the four purchased. A very easy daily pink to wear.

APPLICATION

Very easy to apply; the description of the general application process is below.

 

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09 Watermelon Slice

The unusual one of the bunch, this one is strictly reserved for the Summer! Slightly more orangey/coral than I was expecting, it's a lovely colour nonetheless. However, word of caution when wearing such an orangey based red, your teeth will look yellow! So unless you happen to live in the US with easy access to whitening strips, maybe avoid smiling with your teeth with this one, but you do you boo!

 

strawberrykissed.jpg

03 Strawberry Kissed

The most gorgeous red I've ever owned! I had my eye on the M.A.C. Relentlessly Red lipstick colour for a while now (it's also a pinky red) but never got round to buying it (I'm not the world's greatest fan of M.A.C. lipsticks; controversial, I know!). But this colour just hits the spot, it's a gorgeous pinky red, that keeps you guessing; is it a red? A dark pink? Heaven in a bottle is what it is! The author is not responsible for slight over-exaggerations, that may lead to false expectations. :P But it really is gorgeous!

 

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DESCRIPTION

These lip stains are described on the Sephora website as a high coverage lip products containing avocado oil. Said to apply via a creamy texture then dry to a silky, lightweight stain. With two finishes in the range: satin & matte.

I would, however, completely disagree on the whole "silky, lightweight stain" spiel. It really isn't a stain and more a liquid lipstick as I'm sure many of you have already heard them being referred to as. The only "staining" quality I could think of, is that once on your lips and having dried, these bad boys are not going anywhere (think M.A.C. Ruby Woo but not as drying)! But if you're like me and you associate "stain" as a tinting of your lips (you know like you've just engulfed a bucket load of blackberries), then this is not it!

These lippies also have a lovely vanilla-y taste and scent to them, that wears off a bit once dried but is quite distinct on first application, so if that's not your thing; avoid! Personally, I love the vanilla taste/scent as I'm sure you've gathered from my previous perfume post :P

APLLICATION

I found that these were super easy to apply, and correct if necessary, using a baby wipe (correct before dried though because then it's impossible). Mind you 14 Blackberry Sorbet was a bit finicky but that's just because it's the darkest colour of the lot, and it's to be expected.

The tiniest amount of product is needed; this is not a lip-gloss people! I wipe off half the product that comes out on the end of the sponge tip applicator (which by the way; is super precise) on the edge of the tube: do my bottom lip. Then pick up the other half and do my top lip. You really don't need much or need to re-dip your applicator in the bottle, one dip is enough for the whole lip!

WEAR

So far I've only worn 13 Marvelous Mauve for a whole day. You can definitely feel it on the lips (not lightweight) but I didn't find it too drying. Although some of the photos may look like these lippies weren't doing me any favours, my lips weren't in the world's greatest condition at the time. I feel you could still pull these off with slightly dry/damaged lips; just as long as you don't intend on a major camera zoom-in like me, you should be good to go! Just don't expect major moisturisation from these "creams", they do have a matte finish after all (the ones I bought anyway), and that finish has always been drying; am I right ladies?!

But back to 13 Marvelous Mauve, it did something very weird that has never happened to me with a liquid lipstick before...at the end of the day (6 hours wear) I ended up with a weird fluorescent pink outline on my lips (the rest of the lips was still the same colour I had applied earlier in the day; that you see in the photo). Now it wasn't too obvious, definitely not going to put me off wearing the colour again, but maybe something that could be corrected using a lipliner, I'm not sure. I have just used them directly on the lips so far. 

REMOVAL

This is maybe where the "staining" quality comes in. Once these babies have dried from their creamy texture (that bit is true) to their matte one, baby wipes no longer provide easy removal (unless you fancy giving your lips an extreme exfoliation). You have to entrust a waterproof remover; my weapon of choice is the Lancôme Bi-Facil (it's magic in a bottle, does the job with no fuss or scrubbing and I got it free with my mascara, so what's not to love). But once removed there is no stain on the lips, so it really is a matter of interpretation when it come to the "stain" description.

CONCLUSION

Don't expect the world's creamiest liquid lipstick from these (I've only tried out the mattes) they are mattes after all, with all that that implies! Super easy to apply and very long-lasting, these are definitely worth it! Just remember to have a good waterproof remover on hand and these are a dream (you could eventually just scrub it off with a baby wipe if you really wanted to though).

 

Which is your favourite colour?

Do you own any must-haves from the range and if so which ones?

Would love to hear your thoughts on these, Since so many people love them :)

 

xxxemma

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Top 5 Autumn/Fall Perfumes

Over the years, I've amassed quite the perfume collection; thank you duty free! And I thought I'd share with you my top 5 most worn ones in the Autumn/Winter months. But first off;

Seeing as I have a major sweet tooth, it's no surprise, that most of my perfumes are of the fruity/sweet variety, with vanilla as a base note...YUM!

All the graphics you see the perfumes resting on are from Zoé de Las Cases' Secret Paris colouring for mindfulness book, which I love (mind you I wish the paper was thicker, so as to not let pens bleed through, but you can't have everything I guess). Furthermore, all the perfume descriptions come from fragrantica.com which is an amazing site, I highly suggest you check it out, if you're ever interested in finding out what scents your favourite perfumes are the agglomerations of :) 

Jo Malone - Blackberry & Bay (Cologne)

First off, the odd one out. This one is the only non-sugary-sweet one, I own. It has a very "fresh" quality to it and therefore I wear it most during the Summer. However, the blackberry trait it possesses carries me through the awkward transition from Summer to Autumn that is the beginning of September.

When you're still saying goodbye to the warmer weather (or if you live in Belgium the couple of extra °C gained during said "warmer" months) but you're not yet ready to start wearing the heavy scents of Winter. This is where Blackberry & Bay comes in, every time I wear it, I feel like I'm going blackberry picking (not that I've ever done that in my life) and it suits the crisper and colder air you get in September perfectly! Furthermore, it's a lovely "palate cleanser" throughout Autumn and Winter, when you just fancy a quick "fresher" scent to break up the monotony of the heavier ones.

As a side note, the men in my life (my dad and my brother #singleforlife) love this scent on me! I'm not sure if that's just because their noses are not used to getting a break from all that sugar (I'll never quit...never!) or if it really is just the perfume. The only other perfume that ever got that same reaction from them, was Vera Wang's Princess, which I used to wear on a daily basis when I was 14, and still do occasionally wear today.

- TOP NOTES: Blackberry and grapefruit

- HEART Notes: Bay leaves and cedar-wood

- According to Fragrantica and not Jo Malone's official site, this perfume also features floral notes (not described) and vetiver.

Guerlain - La Petite Robe Noire (Eau de Parfum)

This has been my signature scent for the last couple of years (I'm already halfway through my second bottle). It released near the end of my academic exchange year at the Sorbonne in 2012, and just because of that, it has a special place in my heart (along with the YSL Parisienne perfume I received as a gift from my mum before leaving for said exchange year...the name having nothing to do with it of course...I lie, runs away guiltily).

It is a very unusual scent, apparently, and for the longest time was not released in the UK (I'm sure it has been released now). It still causes puzzled looks, when I mention it at perfume counters when I'm asked about my preferences (but I think this is just because they don't know it, not because they're wondering who would wear such a thing). But recently I've loved to layer this "heavier" perfume under the next one I'll be talking about, which is Jimmy Choo's Jimmy Choo (bless you!!!).

- TOP NOTES: Black cherry, bergamot, red berries and almond

- MIDDLE NOTES: Bulgarian & Turkish roses, liquorice and smoked black tea

- BASE NOTES: Aniseed, tonka bean, vanilla (see I told you), iris and patchouli (another favourite)

Jimmy Choo - Jimmy Choo (Eau de Parfum)

As I've said above, I love to layer this one on top of La Petite Robe Noire. It can be worn on its own, obviously, and sometimes I do, but I've found that this perfume is a bit short-lived. I always spray perfumes on my clothes or scarves (I don't want to irritate my sensitive/needy skin) and I've found that I stop smelling this one after more or less 4 hours. So this is why I tend to layer it, because as it wears off, my base notes from La Petite Robe Noire come in.

But why do I like this scent so much? It reminds me of wandering through flowery meadows at sunset...no, just kidding, it reminds me of...wait for it...YOGURT!!! Yes! You read correctly. Yogurt, is the only way I can describe this one, it has a softened "artificial" fruity scent to it, that is exactly what I would picture those kid fruit yogurts to smell like, from their taste. If you're French, think of those fruit multi-pack Gervais yogurts you ate as a kid, picture that artificial milky/fruity taste and you've got this perfume (to me anyway).

Now why would I want to smell like a tub of yogurt? I have yet to ask my subconscious that! But... let me explain...no, grabs hold of jumper...no, don't leave...come back! :P I guess you're just going to have to smell it for yourselves to see what you think of it, I personally adore it :)

- TOP NOTES: Pear nectar & sweet Italian orange (I think I see where I'm getting "yogurt" from)

- MIDDLE NOTE: Tiger Orchard

- BASE NOTES: Sweet toffee caramel and Indonesian patchouli (there it is again)

Britney Spears - Fantasy; The Naughty Remix (Eau de Parfum)

As you can see I'm not fussy when it come to what brand I buy from, if I like it...I like it! My taste is so nit-picky (some might say peculiar) I don't tend to question when I find a smell I like. So this one is new to me this year, I bought it beginning of April thinking it would be perfect for the upcoming Autumn and here we are. A bit like Jimmy Choo, Fantasy (The Naughty Remix) has a fruity softness to it (that I'm apparently drawn to) but unlike the former, this one doesn't remind me of yogurt! It's much sweeter and less "milky" than Jimmy Choo, and I love it!

- TOP NOTE: Jasmine petals

- MIDDLE NOTES: White chocolate orchid and sweet cupcake accord (YUM!!!)

- BASE NOTES: sensual woods, orris root and creamy musk 

Coleen - Butterflies (Eau de Toilette)

This is the newest addition to my collection and although it features butterflies on its bottle, I chose to look past that, for the sake of the smell. I know, could I have picked a more harmless creature to be afraid of?...And don't get me started on moths...shudders.

I saw this perfume featured on a UK website for 20% off or something, and looking at the notes it looked like it would be a perfume I liked, but I'm not the gambling kind, and I always smell perfumes before I buy. Sometimes perfumes can end up being a very horrible concoction of all your favourite smells, so I would never base myself off notes alone and highly suggest smelling before purchasing! 

So then came the tricky part, finding a store in Belgium I could smell it at, I searched the only two shop websites I could think of (Planet Parfum and ICI Paris XL) and nothing! Then came the UK website (The Perfume Shop) and again nothing, a couple of months later I was in the UK for a family wedding and I was browsing the isles of The Perfume Shop in an Outlet Centre, and right at the bottom of a bargain bin, there it was - Butterflies!!! Smelled it, loved it, bought it! Plus it was 50% off, couldn't believe my luck :o Again, fruity and sweet, just what I like.

- TOP NOTES: Citruses, rose and hibiscus

- MIDDLE NOTES: Black pepper, nutmeg and vanilla

- BASE NOTES: Vanilla, rosewood, amber, tonka bean and cedar

 

So there you have it, my top 5 Autumn/Winter 2015 perfumes.

What are your favourite perfumes to wear this time of year? And what's on your wishlist?

I know I have my eye on Diptyque's Volutes even if my brother thinks it smells like cough syrup. It will be mine one day; shake fist at the Perfume Gods...why...oh...why are some perfumes so expensive?

 

xxxemma

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