Sunday, 24 June 2012

Review: MeMeMe Cosmetics

I recently had a little haul from, which is a new brand to me that I’ve never used before, so I thought I would take the chance to write a short review on my purchases.
Firstly, it seems that there are a few bloggers who went to an event MeMeMe hosted and received lots of lovely goodies. Just to make it clear, I didn’t go to this event and the products I’m talking about here have all been purchased with my own money.
MeMeMe is not a brand that was much on my radar prior to this. I saw it as a very cheap, ineffective brand that was extremely derivative of Benefit, and not in a good way. Cheap products, cheap formulations. Plus, it could only be purchased in Superdrug and I don’t go there very often. It’s certainly never appealed to me before.
But it seems the company got taken over a year or so back, and since then they’ve had a massive shake-up of products and packaging, and really regenerated the whole concept of the line. It still has a few Benefit rip-off products, but they are a lot better quality than they used to be (I don’t mind ‘copying’ per se, but when the product is vastly worse in quality than what its pretending to be it does irritate me). Plus, they have a couple of really nice new products of their own invention.
I am a complete sucker for packaging, hands up, and the new MeMeMe designs are very pretty indeed. They’ve moved away from previous, very plain designs that looked cheap and steered away from the retro-women niche that Benefit, Soap & Glory, and their numerous imitators have over-crowded. The website states that their new inspiration is Greek mythology and the Renaissance, which I really like, and it’s original as well. The containers are really quite desirable now, certainly more so (in my opinion) than Rimmel or an equivalent priced brand.
Price-wise I believe with the image hike, the prices have also drifted upwards, although as I’ve never bought anything from them before, I can’t really compare. I would say prices now sit at the mid-range of drugstore – not as expensive as L’Oreal but not as cheap as Miss Sporty. But I certainly don’t mind this if the products live up to the allure of the packaging. The packaging is also quite sturdy and feels a lot more ‘premium’ than I would expect.
The reason I stumbled across them in the first place was that I saw a Groupon deal- £18 for £45 to spend on the website. For this, I managed to get six products, which is not so bad if you realise I did want a few of the pricier items in the range. I would have bought two of them (totalling more than £18) without the deal, and everything else was a bonus. So, what were they like?

Light Me Up Lipgloss in ‘Luminous’


I hadn’t originally been after a lipgloss, but after I’d purchased what I really wanted, I still had a few pounds of the voucher left to play with and this fitted nicely. The idea is that it’s a lipgloss with a light and a mirror in the lid, presumably so you can touch up on the dancefloor or in the back of a taxi. I think Liperazzi were the first brand that did a concept like this. I tend to visit the ladies and touch up all of my makeup at once, but I suppose this could come in handy. And I'm really pleasantly surprised by this- it smells of peppermint and vanilla, gives a really great, non-sticky colour- and my husband liked it a lot as well! The lights and mirror might not sell me, but the gloss itself is really good.

Correct & Perfect Concealer Kit in ‘Nude’


 I was not expecting to like this product as much as I did! I bought it as a 'filler', to use up my voucher really but it's now become a new favourite. It comes as a little pot of cream concealer with a pot of setting powder underneath, and there's a little mirror in the lid that's a nice touch, but too small to really be of much use. I suffer badly with baggy, dark undereye areas and always use light-reflecting concealers, which this isn't. However, it did work really well on that area. See the picture I took- the eye on the right has some of the Correct & Perfect, and the eye on the left doesn't. Quite a difference, huh? I'm pleasantly surprised by this one! It didn't settle into the little lines either. I think in future, I would definately repurchase this and possibly combine it with a light reflective concealer on top for a double whammy. On the downside, there is a fairly limited shade range- three, to be precise. I chose the mid-toned one, Nude, and it was a good match for my (NW23) skin.

Beat the Blues in ‘Sunbeam’


This product is basically Sunbeam by Benefit. They also have a pink toned highlighting liquid that is a dupe for Moonbeam, and red and pink blush liquids that are clearly Benetint and Poseytint by another name. So if you’re a fan of these cheek colours there will be something here for you. I use Moonbeam at the moment when I go out, but it is quite cool toned, so with summer (and my olive skin) I thought the sunnier shade might be more useful. I absolutely loved it! The sheen it gives is definately golden, but looks a lot more subtle and healthy on me that Moonbeam. The little glass bottle, with its embellished swirls, is every bit as appealing as the Benefit products, and the glow lasted as well. This will be awesome with a tan on summer evenings! It perked up my complexion and gave me a nice lift. And the price is about a third of the equivalent from Benefit, so you really can't go wrong!

Dew Pots in ‘Hollow Haze’


I've never been a massive fan of cream eyeshadows, but a couple of products (notably Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow and Revlon Five Star Eye Mousse), have been helping me overcome this. Although Dew Pots are a pretty product, they won't be changing this! The colour goes on smoothly with a pleasing depth of pigment, but it does crease and it melts away really quickly. The situation might be improved if you used an eyelid primer first, but for me, having to use an additional product defeats the whole point of cream shadow- which is that it's quick and convenient. I thought this product could still be a success if I just used in in the inner corners though, and it did give a pretty, if short-lived, glow to my eyes.
The last two products are really the heroes for me though, and the ones I would have bought even without the deal. They are the innovative ones that will set MeMeMe apart as a brand, but they are also the dearest, quite a lot more expensive by scale than the rest of the line.

Arch Angel


Firstly, the packaging is gorgeous for this product. It's a tinted brow mascara- although at the moment it only seems to come in a dark brown shade, and the other end is a flattering whitish-gold highlighting cream.. I would certainly buy this product again. My brows are quite sparse at the outer edge, so I still feel the need to fill them in slightly with powder- no brow mascara will complete take care of that! On the left, I had just used the brow groomer, and on the right is the finished look after filling in with powder. It's a nice natural brown that's not too reddish in tone. All in all I'm really pleased.

Goddess Rocks


This product is utterly gorgeous, and although its one of those things that will last for a long time by its nature, I would definately pick this up again. It's a collection of jumbo bronzing pearls (they really are 'rocks'), of a metallic pink, a bronze and a gold colour. The idea is that you can use the individual nuggets as a lid colour, mix them with a clear gloss to use on your lips, or swirl a brush over the whole and use it as a bronzer. The colours are gorgeous, and I was surprised they're not too overwhelming metallic. The shade is dark enough to give some real depth and contour to the cheeks. I love this product! And the packaging is a little cardboard tub, which seems sturdy enough and is very cute indeed.
On the whole? I'm really seriously impressed with the revamp this line has had. The products are not only beautifully presented but the formulations are great as well. I would definately repurchase all the products, with the exeption of the Dew Pots, but that's probably just me. If you haven't tried this line, I thoroughly recommend giving them a go!


Sunday, 17 June 2012

June Lust List

It's a bit of a different posting, but I was sorting through the files on my laptop the other day and came across a whole load of pictures I'd come across when surfing the web that have really inspired me and provoked my utter lust! I decided to compile them into a lust list (I know, I know, I should just give in and get a Pinterest board already....)

This Girl's Outfit. I sadly can't remember where I got this image (by all means shout up if you know), but I culled it when I was saving up for my Mulberry Alexa bag and wanted to see what the mini patent leopard version looked like in action! I so loved this girl's entire look, that I saved the image. Firstly, I have major fringe envy. As someone with a freakishly small forehead, heavy fringes look all shades of wrong on me. And I am very jealous of people that have them! I adore this lady's bag, slouchy cream infinity scarf and cropped black leather biker. I have all of those items, so I think I can/will do a passable copy of this outfit. The combat style trousers with the aggressive strappy heels also look great- I am a little timid to wear uncomfortable shoes like that when I'm just out and about, but when it looks this good, I may just have to give it a go.

J-Lo's Chic Chignon. Okay, so J-Lo has gone from 90's reject to hot again, mostly thanks to her star diva turn on American Idol and some dodgy single with Pitbull *shudder*. However, she has always had great hair! I regularly troll into my hairdressers armed with pictures of Jenny from the Block when I'm trying to describe the exact shade I want my highlights (the interpretation of 'caramel' apparently is quite an individual thing, it's best to take a picture!). So, I do love the colour of her hair. Her and Jessica Alba have the most delicious shade of tortoiseshell - sort of a how-to on blonde highlights when you're a brunette. BUT I am also totally in love with this recent sexy 60's chignon she rocked. It's soft, it's tousled- its not too polished (which is unusual for J-Lo, who usually seems to favour the tight-doughnut-bun-and-a-gallon-of-hairspray look). Maybe her toyboy is doing wonders for her style. Who knows? I just know I'm totally jacking this look for my work Christmas do this year. Yes, I plan THAT far ahead!

Cole and Son 'Woods' wallpaper. I've been in love with this wallpaper design for a number of years, ever since I saw it featured in an interiors magazine. In the picture I first saw, someone had used it as a feature wall in their bathroom, covered over with clear perspex. In front of it was a gorgeous roll-top black bath. I loved it then, but it's grown on me even more. I'm not moving house until next year, but I'm already determined that I want this wallpaper in my dining room. I adore the sense of depth and the pen-and-ink drawing feel of it. At £60-odd per roll, it's hideously expensive, but I guess I have time to save up!

Isabel Lucas' look. I guess I could have done a separate post on this Aussie actress, only I find her a bit hit and miss. I don't always rate her outfits- some of them are a bit boho for me- but I do love her general look. She's absolutely stunning, and she manages to be totally sexy without being at all obvious, which is something I really admire. She seems so effortless. She also has am amazing figure. This nude jumpsuit outfit with cut out details shows it off to perfection.

 Just Cavalli eyeshadow. One of my other favourite bloggers posted some make-up looks she'd loved from Fashion Week, and this one really caught my eye. It's basically a bronzy, glittery shadow with a black liner, and a shot of sapphire blue under the lash line. A stunning combination and feels quite fresh- I think I will be doing a variant of this look on my next night out!

Soft, bouncy waves. I call this 'Chloe' hair, because the girls in the Chloe fashion and perfume ads always seem to have it. It drives me nuts because I find it impossible to do- no matter what I try, no matter how many YouTube tutorials I watch, I can't seem to find a technique I can do effectively at home to create these jumbo, soft waves. I'm thinking it's something only a hairdresser could help with. It just looks so 'rich' and polished. *sigh* how, oh how, can I get my hair to do this?

And that's it for now, my random collection of current lusts. What are your obsessions lately? xxx

Loving Her Style: Mollie from The Saturdays

Lately, I am loving this lady's style- it's Mollie King from sugary girl super-group, The Saturdays.
It's a bit of an unusual choice for me. Usually, I prefer my style icons, shall we say, a shade darker. I tend to gravitate towards quite tailored, edgy 'grown-up-goth' by way of minimalist dressers- like any of the ladies named at the side of this page!

I'm not normally a fan of girl-band style- it's too brightly coloured for my taste- and I certainly don't like their music (apart from the odd, guilty-pleasure hairbrush singalong to 'All Fired Up', I promise they are not to be seen on my iPod).

But lately, I can't ignore the fact that Mollie is looking good! In fact, I even said as much on the Grazia Style Jury lately, and got my comments published in the magazine. I guess that as good as makes me an out-and-proud Mollie fangirl!

SO, what are the elements of her style that I love (and so can copy):

  1. Girl rocks navy-and-tan. It's a classic style combination but she makes it look fresh, and it really suits her blonde colouring.
  2. She can style out a blazer. Anyone that can work a bit of power tailoring can't go wrong in my book.
  3. She's quite classic. She does the trends, but in a way that's not too scary and edgy. She sort of shows me how to interpret things in a toned-down way.
  4. She gives good bag. It seems like Mollie is well and truly a 'bag lady', and therefore a girl after my own heart. In fact, Aspinal of London have named a satchel bag after her, and very nice it is too!
  5. She likes getting her legs out. She clearly thinks they are her best feature. I think the same about me, so I like her style in shorts and minis that plays on this.
I also get the sense that Mollie uses her hair sort of like a security blanket, which is also something that I tend to do. There aren't many pictures of her wearing it up, despite the fact she seems to get papped every other day walking her dog. The one picture I do have with her hair up, I think she looks great, so I'm feeling inspired to stop relying on loose hair.

All in all, I'm loving her look, although I do wish she would stop with the rigid, 'designer bag held in crook of arm' pose. It's silly and very WAG-tastic. Someone get her cross-body bag, pronto!


How To: Navy Smoky Eyes

It's been a while since I've worked a proper smokey eye! In many ways, its a beauty classic, and it usedto very much be my signature look when I went out. But I guess over time, I got tired of it. It seemed a bit obvious somehow. And there have been so many other going out make-up looks to try.

But something about a sapphire, or navy blue update on the look feels right for now, so here's my new take on the old faithful.
Note: I really need to treat myself to a better digital camera. These photos don't do justice to the finished look at all, and my iPhone camera has not captured the jewel-toned blues well. Sorry!

What I Used:

  • Mac Stobe Cream
  • L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation
  • Rimmel Sunshimmer Bronzing Powder 'Light Matte'
  • Benefit Bad Gal pencil liner
  • Sleek Mineral Eyeshadow Palette 'Storm'
  • Maybelline The Falsies Volum'Express mascara
  • Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Gel Liner
  • Mac Sheen Supreme lipstick 'Bare Again'

How To:
Start by prepping the face with a good quality moisturiser. Glowing, hydrated skin is the perfect foil to dramatic stormy eyes.

On the back of your hand, mix together a 5 pence sized amount of Mac's Strobe Cream and a brightening foundation, such as L'Oreal's Lumi Magique. Using a foundation brush, gently cover your face with the make-up buffing it into the surface of your skin.

Next, use a slanted powder brush to brush a light bronzer around the areas your face would naturally catch the sun- tops of your cheekbones, forehead and the tip of your nose. Choose a light formulation without any shimmery or glittery particles as you want to keep the focus on those dramatic eyes. Despite the name, Rimmel's Sunshimmer bronzer is a good choice as it doesn't have any glitter.

Apply an eye primer if you wish, to help keep your colour locked in place. Then use a smudgy black eye crayon- Benefit's Bad Gal is perfect, into the lash line. Remember, it doesn't matter if you are a little bit imprecise, as smudgy lines only make the eyes more sultry. Use a smudging brush to blend the line in.

After this, use a fluff shadow brush to pack on a jewel toned dark blue eyeshadow. There's a sapphire shade in the Storm eyeshadow palette from Sleek Makeup that's perfect. Go all the way into the inner corners and up into the crease of the eye.

Dip the same brush into a matte black colour and pat into the outer third of the eyes, roughly following a v-shape. With a blending brush, work the two colours together to make a seamless run of shadow.

Using a light pearl coloured shadow, pat some into the inner corners of your eyes with the pad of your little finger. This will open the eye up and make it luminous, even with all the dark shadow.

Quickly fill in your brows in whichever way you prefer - defined bold arches are needed to balance the heavy eye makeup. For me personally, I used a clear mascara swept through my brows to neaten them up (Mac do a good one, or for a cheap alternative Natural Collection is hard to beat), and then use an angled brush to fill in any sparse gaps with a dark brown shadow).

Curl your lashes, then apply a couple of coats of a good volumising mascara, such as Maybelline 'the Falsies' Volum-Express. You don't really need fake lashes with this look, as there's already a lot of drama at the eyes!

Using an eyeliner brush, like Benefit's Get Bent Angled Eyeliner Brush, take a line of the jewel blue colour along your lower lash line to really make your eyes pop. I think this works well in any eye colour, but I love it with my brown eyes as its a contrast. A bronzy brown would have the same effect on blue eyes if you wanted to switch up the colour.

For the piece de resistance, and a really special 'wow' touch for your eyes, I cannot say enough in praise of Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Gel Liner. It's a beautiful, long lasting formulation. Here, I used the black liner with silver glitters and just took it along my top lash line, over the Bad Gal pencil liner. It really gives your eyes that final va-va-voom!

As your eyes are so full of drama, I think it's best to keep the lips really neutral with just a very slight hint of gloss- Mac's Sheen Supreme Lipstick in 'Bare Again' is the perfect product for the job- no lipliner keeps it modern and 'un-done'.

Et voila, smoky eyes with a sapphire twist! What's your favourite way to put a spin on the classic smoky eye? xxx


Friday, 8 June 2012

Five Favourites for June

Things have been a bit quiet on the old blog front lately, mainly because I’ve finally started writing (seriously)for my novel. 

Yep, every English Lit graduate has at least one novel in them,and I feel its my duty to contribute to the cliché and produce one too! It’s actually something I’ve had the idea for a long time, but I’ve never seemed to have the self-discipline to actually churn it out. 

Well, now I’ve decided that I need to dedicate some time to it and actually make it happen, before it becomes one of those permanent regrets. In the course of spending a fair bit of time on it, I’ve really not been writing any blog posts,  but I’ve realised that I miss my blog and it’s light-heartedness, so here I am. Onto the Five Favourites!

1)     Models Own Hed Kandi ‘Ibiza’polish- for a long while, I’ve basically shunned glitter. It reminded me too much of being 14, when I thought it was cool to cover every available surface with the stuff. Remember those roll-on scented body glitter gels? I used to worship those. Since then, I’ve sort of been in glitter rehab. And at 27 (just turned), I was sort of worried I was a bit over the hill for it. But I’ve had a change of heart and it’s all because of this brilliant polish. I love the mix of colours for a start- bronze, gold, pink, blue and green. So it’s not just your bog-standard silver. The glitter particles are also different sizes which gives it a really nice appearance. A couple of coats give a really nice 'encrusted' effect as well, really flashy. Models Own has been my favourite range for nail polish for a while now, and they’re quite innovate with shades and collaborations with other brands, and this polish does not disappoint.

2)     NSpa Hot Cloth Polish- I’ve recently discovered the NSpa range and have slowly but surely been trying all their different products, but this one really is a standout. The whole range is really nice, and very affordable- ranging from just £2.50 up to about £6-£7 pounds, produced by the peeps at Nirvana Spa for Asda, of all places. I stumbled across them when I ran out of eye cream all of a sudden and had to replace it. Not only are all the products I’ve tried great quality but the packaging is lovely too and looks really premium. I’m a complete sucker for packaging, it makes or breaks a product for me. The Hot Cloth Polish is pretty much a rip-off of Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish- which I’ve always wanted to try- so you get the bottle of cleanser and a muslin washcloth in the packet. You spread the cream on dry skin, then buff it off with the damp cloth. Pretty simple, but it leaves such a gorgeous glowing finish, I’ve found it quite addictive. The ingredients include Ginseng, Vitamin E, Cocoa Butter, Sweet Almond Oil and essential Oil of Neroli. Pretty luxurious for a supermarket buy! The cream is fairly thick and very moisturising  but it leaves your skin soft and not at all greasy. I also love their Deep Hydrating Facial Oil and their Vitamin Toning Spray,  but this cleanser is the total star buy. I’m going to keep trying their items as my skincare products run out, and I really feel like I’ve stumbled across a great little secret!

3)     Revlon Lip Butter- there has been a lot of online buzz on the blogs about these, but for some reason I wasn’t really interested. But then on my latest foray to Boots I pretty much gotc ollared by a promotions girl who was determined to sell me and my friend Claire some! But once I tried it, I have to say I really rated it. I love how hydrating it is, and the colour lasts quite a few hours, which seems rare fors omething with such a buttery, balm-like consistency. I picked up the shade ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, which I’m quite keen on because its pretty similar to my all-time favourite lipstick, Mac’s ‘Lovelorn’, a cool-toned mid-pink. After seeing some online posts, I’m now quite keen to pick up the shade ‘Macaroon’ as well, which I didn’t see in the shop. Perfect for summer and holidays!

4)     Mac Casual Colour  Lip & Cheek Colour Pots ‘ Keep it Loose’-I am always a complete sucker for multi-tasking products, and I’m no stranger to using my lipstick for a burst of cheek colour either, so this product basically is perfect for me. As usual with Mac products you get a dense pigment with a fairly heavyweight texture, but once blended in these look absolutely gorgeous, dewy and fresh. I've been using my RealTechniques stippling brush to apply and the two combined give an ultra-flawless finish. There’s no shimmer or sparkle to the formulas, so they appear really natural. I am absolutely loving the shade ‘Keep it Loose’, which is a lovely peachy colour that suits my golden skin to a t, but there are several other, pinker shades to choose from as well.

5)     Demeter Baby Powder Cologne-You used to see Demeter fragrances knocking around in House of Fraser and they specialised in very niche, single note fragrances that ranged from the sweet to the slightly disturbed- Cucumber, New Car, Candy Floss. Just lately, I’ve been enjoying very sweet fragrances and especially the smell of Johnson’s Baby products, which I use a lot of- I put baby oil in my baths because it makes your skin so soft (it’s also good for removing really stubborn eye make-up), I use the talcum powder when I wax, and I also use the lotion as hand cream. I thought it would be great if there was a perfume that captured this scent and it turns out there actually is! I had to order this from the Galaxy Perfumes website in the USA and it was a nightmare delivery. It took over a month to arrive! But as for the perfume itself, I’m pretty pleased. It smells exactly like baby powder, sweet, clean and fresh. You get a huge bottle as well, and although it is billed as a cologne I have found it fairly long lasting. I find the scent really comforting and clean, although I guess it is a bit weird to want to smell like a newborn! Perhaps I’m regressing!
© Sarah Deluxe. All rights reserved.