Monday, 30 April 2012

Let Me Be Your Fantasy - Nails Of The Day

I've had this polish for a little while now but I've never got round to trying it until now, what can you say that hasn't already been said about Max Factor's Fantasy Fire - gorgeous, multi coloured sparkles, duochrome, amazing, wow etc, etc

Well yes all of those things but to be honest its something you've got to work with - it's actually very sheer, I needed 3 coats to bring it up to this level and it could probably could have done with a few more. Don't get me wrong it's gorgeous but next time I think I'll layer it over a solid blue or a purple to save time

What do you think of Fantasy Fire, worth the hype? or just another OK polish? let me know in the comments xx

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Budget Beauty Series - Make Up Academy (MUA) Professional Eyes

I've been promising this Budget Beauty Series post on the MUA Pro range probably since the year dot lol Things got in the way though computer problems, illness, bad light - yeah you get the picture but wait no longer you shall (don't you just love Yoda ;) the first part my MUA Pro post is here ready and waiting for you to read.

I decided to split the post up into two because quite frankly it would be a total epic otherwise and just far too picture heavy - this post is going to focus on some of the eye products from the MUA Make Up Academy Professional range.

This range has had a lot of coverage in the beauty community and rightly so, although it costs a little bit more than the basic line your still getting amazing value for money. The MUA Professional line contains a wide variety of eye make up products including felt tip liners, mascaras, eye bases, false lashes and or course eyeshadows - and the prices range from just £1.50 - £8.00, making it accessible to the majority of budgets.

This post is going to focus on just two areas - eyeshadows and mascara - we'll start with the lonely item the mascara. I have to say I am a complete mascara junkie I just can't resist buying every new one that hits the market, hence the need for Project 10 Pan ;) so it not surprising that I picked one up from MUA Pro. The Pro range features two mascaras Extreme Curl and the one I picked Extreme Volume.

The first thing you notice about this product is the chunky nature of the tube, if you like little slim tubes of mascara then this probably isn't the one for you. The spoolie as you would probably expect isn't anything earth shattering or innovative, it's in the traditional Christmas tree type shade and made with fibre bristles.

The mascara comes in two colours Shade 1 Extreme Black and Shade 2 Black / Brown. I went for the black, it's not the darkest black mascara if you what I mean but it's still well pigmented. As you can see especially from the photo above it has quite a dense texture.

I had no problems applying it to my lashes, the wand did the job, and the formula covered the lashes pretty well, I did experience tiny bit of clumping, and some dotting but it did the job - how about some befores and afters


One Coat

Two Coats

I'm sorry some of the pictures are a little blurred I took them a while ago and because this mascara is nearing the end of its life the textures changed a bit so I couldn't redo them :( I hope you still get the idea though, it defines and separates the lashes pretty well, it's not a super dramatic change but you can definitely see the difference this mascara has made to my lashes. Yes it clumps, smudges and dots a little bit but so do mascaras worth 10 times more than this one, if your looking for a cheap mascara then you could do a lot worse than pick up this one. MUA Professional Extreme Volume Mascara retails at £2.00.

OK now the part you've all been waiting for eyeshadows, as well as the famous palettes which I'll come on to, MUA Professional also produces two other types of eyeshadow. The Trio Eyeshadows retail at £2.50 each and come in 6 shade options. Each trio contains 3 baked eyeshadow shades that can be used wet or dry. I have about a zillion baked eyeshadows in my collection so I have to be honest and say that I've never tried these, but for £2.50 again I think they are worth the risk. MUA Professional also produce another type of eyeshadow called the Extreme Metallic Quads, these quads are £3.00 and again they come in 6 shades. I did have one of these in my collection, and the one I had was Go Getter.

In each compact you got 4 different stripes of intense metallic eye colours, Go Getter contains a pale pink, a silver / taupe, a coppery brown, and a very dark plain chocolate shade.

These swatches show the product dry but you can also use them wet. They have a very, very soft texture, and they are filled with sparkle which can lead to a bit, no a lot! of fallout. I had a love hate relationship with this quad to be honest as much as I loved the colours, the texture and the glittery fallout made them quite hard to work with. The soft texture of these shadows really hit home when my lovely ginger Persian Jasper knocked the quad onto the floor, all I was left with was a pile of sparkly dust, it completely and utterly disintegrated. I have to be honest and say that I won't be repurchasing this, it's pretty but it just wasn't worth the effort. MUA Professional Extreme Metallics Quad Eyeshadows retails at £3.00.

Unless you've been living under a rock then you'll have read about these babies 100 times, the star of the MUA Professional range is undoubtedly their eye palettes - with an amazing 12 shades in each palette for just £4.00, there are 8 palettes to choose from. I have three of the palettes - first up the real star Heaven and Earth

This palette has been described as the budget version of Urban Decays famous Naked Palette. It features 12 beautiful browns, coppers, nudes and neutrals. All the colour in this palette unlike have some shimmer in them so if your a fan of matte shadows this palette probably isn't for you x

The shadows are super smooth and super pigmented, if you can't afford the Naked palette or even if you can and you love neutrals I would definitely recommend this palette. In fact I would say I actually use this one more than I use my Naked palette now - whoops! I've taken some photos of some eye looks in this posts which aren't that great because of the lighting etc. but I hope you get the idea x

OK Heaven and Earth is the out and out star, but don't ignore the rest of MUA's palettes, I also own Starry Night

Again all the shades in this palette are shimmers, it's a lovely combination of blues, greys, silvers, pinks and lilacs, where as Heaven and Earth is a more daytime palette this one will be great for night time.

Again the shadows are soft and pigmented, you do get a tiny bit of fall out with this palette but nothing that isn't manageable - here's a little eye look using the colour 3 from the right on the bottom row x

I have to say I've used this palette an awful lot, again if you like these shades and shimmery shadows this palette is a must have x

The finally 12 palette that I own from MUA Professional is the most recent in my collection, Dusk Till Dawn

Dusk Till Dawn is the perfect name for this product, it has a range of colours that would be great for everyday wear alongside more glam, bright and smokey colours which would great for the evening. This really is a multi use palette.

Again the colours are soft and pigmented, and yes again they all have some shimmer in them. In the eye look below which uses the blue on the bottom row you can not only see the pigmentation, but some of the glitter and shimmer x

As I say there are 8 twelve pan palettes in the range as well as these 3, you can get palettes containing brights, pastels and combinations. I have to say for the price these palettes are amazing, you get 12 soft and pigmented shades for just £4.00. A lot of people compare these to the Sleek palettes but I have to say I prefer these ones, I find them a lot easier to work with and obviously they are a bit cheaper :)

Following the success of these 12 pan palettes just before Christmas last year MUA Professional introduced the biggie - the 24 shade Immaculate Collection

The Immaculate Collection contains the shimmers that you would expect, but it also contains a few matte shades. The palette as you would expect contains a good mixture of neutrals and brights - it's a real all occasion palette

The shimmers as you would expect are really soft and pigmented, again you get a little bit of fallout with the shimmers but that only to be expected with such soft shadows. The mattes on the other hand are a bit of a disappointment, they aren't that pigmented and are quite chalky. I've done a couple of eye looks with some of the shimmers for you including this purple which proved so popular in a recent post x (It's the colour on the bottom right in the palette)

I've also done some pics using the coppery, bronze shade in the middle row

and finally the turquoise shadow from the top row x

This palette has its issues, the mattes really aren't that great but that doesn't bother me to be honest because as you know I'm not really a fan of matte eyeshadows, but you only get a few in the palette, the shimmers on the other hand are amazingly soft, smooth and pigmented. If you like shimmers and your on a budget for £8.00 you can't really go wrong.

As I say I haven't tried all the eye products in the MUA Professional  line but I've been pretty impressed with the ones I have tried. The eye palettes as you would expect are the real stars of the line, pigmented, soft, smooth and affordable you really can't ask for more. If you have any questions please ask x Have you tried any MUA Professional eye products and what can you recommend? Next up in my Budget Beauty Series - MUA Professional face products xx

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Look On The Brightside - Nails Of The Day

I'm going to start off this post in the fashion of any typical Brit by complaining about the weather. OMG how much rain have we had - here oop north it's rained almost solidly for a week - it's dark, it's gloomy it's horrid - and to make it worse it's moved indoors with water dripping through the conservatory and bathroom ceilings!!! Yuck I really don't think it's helping my mood I've felt sooo down these past few days, which you'll know if you follow my ramblings on twitter. Do you know what though I'm sick of being a moaning myrtle so I'm really going to try and be happier and more positive,so what better way to lift my spirit than with a super bright, summery nail.

Avon Nailwear Pro in Coral Reef is one of those colours that just screams summer, and sunshine. A gorgeous coral, which can look more orange or red based depending on the light -love it. I also love the fact that this was just one coat!!!

Would you believe even looking at this shade on my fingers has made me feel just a little happier, yet another winner from Avon, What do you think of Coral Reef and summery nails on general on horrid days?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

It's That Time Again - Time For Project 10 Pan

After weeks and weeks of hinting and yes putting it off today is the day I'm  finally starting Project 10 Pan Round 2. I successfully completed Project 10 Pan last May but I feel I need to do it again. Despite proclaiming that I'd learnt my lesson, and I didn't need any more make up, I've resorted back to my old ways and my stash is starting to pile up again. I've had a good sort through my make up stash and I can honestly say I have pretty much everything I desperately need, I have numerous foundations, concealers, lots and lots of lip and cheek products, and every eyeshadow colour under the sun, in other words I'm sorted.

You know the rules, I can't buy a single make up item until I've used up 10 products. I'm not sure which 10 products I'm going to finish yet, but I've hit pan on a few things, I have a few half finished bottles and a few stubby lipsticks so I may concentrate on those. I can definitely anticipate finishing a few mascaras, maybe a foundation, and a few powders but we'll see x

In planning this out I've already hit a few sticking points, first of all the beauty boxes I subscribe too. Well as I've said before I'm not sure that my subscriptions are going to be continuing much longer anyways but the key factor here is that if they do contain make up it's not something that I've chosen myself, or necessarily something that I would like so I'm not going to count them as part of P10P, the same thing will also apply with press samples, If I'm offered the opportunity to try out make up item on your behalf , and I feel its something that you my blog readers will be interested in then I will still accept them x Next up gifting, this is another tough one, technically if I begged hard enough I could get Mummy Lou to buy my something if I wanted it enough but Mummy Lou has been generous enough so I won't be doing that, however it's my birthday in 3 weeks and I know for a fact that I'm already getting some make up items so birthday gifts are allowed but nothing else -eek.

So yes I'm still allowed to buy skincare and even nail polish, but no make up :) I also going to keep up the stash trimming with a few more blog sale updates so keep you pennies at the ready. I guess that's another reason that I'm doing this to try and save a bit of money, something which is not my strong point.

What does this mean for you my lovely blog readers ? well the main thing will be the lack of make up hauls, but otherwise nothing really will change, obviously I'll pop up a post and update my sidebar when I finish an item , when I reach half way and obviously in the distant future when I reach the end, but I'll still be here and I still have lots of products and make up items to review and blog about. I've made a little video so you can hear a bit more about why I've decided to go through this again

Well they you go thems the rules, and that's why I'm doing it - I'm feeling pretty positive I've done it before and I know I can do it again especially with your support,  wish me luck guys x Have you ever done Project 10 Pan before?, do you think you could do it? leave me a comment and let me know xx

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

This Really Is The Last Beauty Haul - I Promise x

I'm a bad Lou, I said that the other weeks Look Beauty make up haul was going to be my last for while, but the enablers of twitter did their job again. The object of my desire was something believe it or not that I'm not going to stop purchasing, it was of course nail polish.

Yes the new Barry M magnetic nail polishes, I really love the whole concept of magnetic nail polishes, so when I saw that the new Barry polishes has different designs in the magnets I knew I needed to pick a few up. I was really surprised that my tiny local Superdrug had any but I managed to get 328 Magnetic Blue and 327 Magnetic Red. The blue has a Union Jack, almost star design magnet, and the red has a diagonal stripe magnet. I really want the other two shades,  a very dark grey almost black and the violet.

That was going to be it but I happened to notice a couple of offers floating around, specifically ones of the buy one get one half price variety - oh dear!

I managed to get some more of the Revlon Lip Butters - every colour was in stock and all the testers were out so I managed to have a little play - eventually I chose two colour from my wishlist

On the left - 050 Berry Smoothie - a gorgeous neutral mauve / pink shade and on the right 090 Sweet Tart, a lovely juicy bright berry pink - sorry about the gouge me bad :(

My love for these babies just keeps on growing, these shades are a lot brighter than the first two that I bought (click here to see Sugar Frosting and Strawberry Shortcake) but their just as moisturising, and the texture and finish means their still really wearable.

According to the blogging community though, Revlon Lip Butters have a bit of a rival  in the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipsticks. So I did what any good beauty blogger should do and I picked up a couple to see how they compare :)

I love the packaging of  L'Oreal lipsticks it always looks so much more expensive than the average drugstore lipstick, they were on a buy one get one half price deal so I picked up two, on the left 03 Lovely Rose, a really pretty pale pink, and on the right 07 Cheeky Magenta, a hot pink.

It's early days comparison wise, but so far I'm liking both, the Revlon Lip Butter are probably a bit softer in texture, and they seem a bit more moisturising then the Caresse's but if you looking for more of lipstick texture than the Caresse's will probably be more up your street.

So that was my last make up haul for some time sob, I'll put a post up tomorrow about the start of my Project 10 Pan experience but if you have any questions in the meantime please leave me a comment xx