Tuesday, 5 August 2014

This was one of those 'OMG, revision is destroying me, I need something distracting to cheer me up' sort of purchases. You may have seen my little haul photo on Instagram that I posted at the time, well yeah I kind of went back of raided Sleek a little more. 
I previously only owned two sleek items, their Mattes Dark palette and a blush trio. Here in the UK we can only really find Sleek at Superdrugs and I don't tend to shop there very often. 

Sleek is a fun, colorful drugstore brand that offers high quality for high street prices. 



So after some nosing about, I came away with this beautiful, ever so slightly alarming palette and some other goodies, shhh... This sort of product is not something I normally reach for, but I happened to be in the mood to experiment, it comes at a decent price and it was summer - why not!?

It is a particularly good time to purchase such a palette as bold bright colors have been filing down the run way all summer. Urban Decay came out with similar 'Electric Palette' around March I believe with its signature UD shimmer. This palette of course as the name suggests, is completely matte. Yay for mattes!

Packaging

The product comes in Sleeks signature matte black sleek compact plastic casing complete with its glossy logo. While it looks beautiful and very sophisticated to begin with, it does tend to get mucky with use, as mine clearly has done. Inside it has a handy large sized mirror.

It comes with a clear plastic sheet on the inside which gives you all the names on the colors, I can tell you it did not take me very long to lose that hence there are no photo of it, sorry! 



It also comes with a double-ended sponge application, I still have mine, I am not quite sure why. These things do nothing for me, I much prefer my bristly brushes but at the price we are getting each of these palettes, I think it's fair. Besides, I am sure there are plenty of people who prefer sponge applicators, if that's you, then here's another point to Sleek!




Product

It comes with 12 pans of pressed pigment in eye-popping matte colors. One of the reasons this palette so awesome is that matte eye-shadows in general are very difficult to come by anyway, and such shades as is on offer here even more so.





Shade Swatches

And here are the shades themselves. Apologies for my desperately dry hands. This is the top row of shadows on the palette. As a side note, I have been loving two particular colors this summer, one of those is yellow particularly as an inner corner shade. Before you gag, let me tell you it is a fabulous, unique look that just works and is worth giving a try. I have been using Bamm for this , which is suitably vibrant and looks stunning. Pucker and Pout look very similar, what differentiates them is that Pout seems to have a fluorescent quality to it. And check out Chill, have you ever seen such a beautiful color??


Note: No primer or base


Crete and Floss on the second row have a little less pigmentation to the rest of the shades. 

Say hello to a second favorite summer shade of mine, orange!! I love a color like Strike as a crease color to blend out my eye-shadows, it adds an unbelievable amount of warmth and creates a smoldering, fiery look - give it a shot and see for yourself.




Quality

A point to take note though, is that although these colors are intensely pigmented they don't last very long, I would highly recommend an eye primer or other base when using these to improve their longevity. Another matter is that the pigments are quite powdery, you tend to pick up a lot with a brush and there is a fair amount of fall out. Be to be careful with your application or else use a shadow-shield of some sort or even do your eye-makeup before you do your foundation so you can sweep away any fall out.

Conclusion

To me the points above are not such a big deal and are easily dealt with. I really do believe for the price this palette is absolutely worth it and I am still hyping over it. It is something to keep in your collection even if bright bold shades are not your thing. In fact it has been sitting out all summer with me and I just love to play and experiment with it and combining it with say my Naked Palette, it is so much fun. It has a wonderful range of colors that you will find yourself reaching for time to time when you are looking to add some oomph to your everyday look.

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Friday, 1 August 2014
I expect many, just like myself, walk into the beauty department and nod past brands distinguishing them internally by our familiarity with them, their popularity, price range, how well they work for us etc. But how many of us actually look at these brands and see them for what they are, that is money-guzzling companies who mass produce products and then try to get us to buy them. And as with many such companies, their ethics/politics are worth scrutinizing. 

In this post I want to bring a few issues that I have personally being mulling over recently to attention . There may be things I talk about here that you won't agree with or care much at all about, you may vehemently disagree with and that's totally fine. Please do not hate. But if you wish to get a little deeper understanding of my views and subsequent decision, march on.

1. Illusion of Choice


Source: Mic.Com
This is a visual chart of 10 of the largest companies said to dominate everything we ever buy. The concept around Illusion of Choice is that  a signle company owns several brands of products that appear to us to be competing. We may decide that we do not wish to purchase from perhaps L'oreal any longer due to its political connections and opt for Garnier or Maybelline instead, completely unaware that L'oreal heads both respective companies. We are still unwittingly emptying our pockets into the hands of those we conscientiously wish not to be doing.

It is an odd thought especially when you walk into say, Boots (UK) and see all 3 of these brands stood side by side seeming each of them to be trying to coax you into buying their products over the other, when in reality it doesn't really make much difference which you settle to buy from anyway, aside from perhaps we as consumers will go away content with the many, many choices we [seem to] have in life and the supposed control we feel we have over what and where we buy from. That, my readers, is the Illusion of Choice.

Even if you are not ethically/politically aware, even if you prefer to keep it easy and not to dabble in messy debates, just the thought that there are 10 such groups of people who control your entire life - well, I don't know about you, but it sends a shiver down my spine! 


2. Current Politics: Israel and Israeli Settlement Products

Now, I should process hence forth with caution and speak of this tentatively, I am sure everyone holds a colorful array of views on who is right or wrong. That is not what I am here to debate on today, sorry. 

These product concern me as an individual due to the views that I personally hold, I do not agree with the way Israel is dealing with things nor of their past and sustained behavior of creating illegal settlements and selling the produce off of those lands, depriving and restricting the Palestinian people. As a result I would like to control where I put my money. Frankly I feel buying these products not only takes food and money away from the Palestinians but also pays for the bombs, bullets and fighter jets over their heads. We have as much blood on our hands as those committing these heinous crimes. For me it is a difficult truth. While many out there fret over animal cruelty, do we for one second consider how our choices affect the lives of our fellow human beings?

However with a little research I have come to realize that dodging these alleged companies is far more complex than I originally anticipated. Much like the 'Illusion', Israel owns enormous families of companies all linked together, as you try to dodge one you will surely fall into another's grasp. It also alarmed me to find that brands under Israeli ownership, are the very same that I casually and regularly purchase from, their products now sitting proud and somewhat sinister among my cosmetics collection. It annoys me that I am so little aware of it, and it annoys me that brands with such hideous origins can be displayed quite so innocently on the shelves (a great number of them) of my favorite local stores giving no hint as to its background. 


One such example is Estee Lauder:

Estee Lauder is an incredibly vast company, eye watering-ly so. I can't seem to find a diagram so I will try to illustrate it in words:

Estee Lauder Companies Inc (Buycott App)

1. Bumble and Bumble

2. Prescriptives Inc

3. Estee Lauder Inc
3a. Aveda Corp.
3b. Clinique
3c. M.A.C
3d. Smashbox
3e. Tommy Hilfiger
screenshot of the Buycott app
3f. Aerin
3g. Aramis
3h. Estee Lauder
3i. Jo Malone
3j. La Mer
3k. Origins
3l. Rodan and Fields
3m. Veracruz
3n. Michael Kors

4. Aramis Inc
4a. Lab Series
4b. Parfum
4c. Pure DKNY
4d. Uomo
4e. Zegna

etc.


Now tell me, how many of these brands are you aware off? Could you have fathomed that they are all of one family?

And if you think that this is absurd, just take a look at all the fashion and beauty brands owned by Nestle, yes Nestle!

Garnier, L'oreal, Maybelline, Redken, Body Shop, Essie, Giogio Armani, Vichy, Lancome, YSL, Stellar McCartney, Victor & Rolf, Biotherm, Dermablend, La Roche-Posay, Tresor, McVcities and I really shouldn't go into foodstuff or else I would be here all day.

It's beginning to look like an impossibility isn't it.. 

I am absolutely determined to see this through. I am positively sick of unknowingly supporting causes and companies that go against my moral values year upon year. And while I may not be successful in removing them all from my life, I can make positively changes and decisions to reduce the impact.


Mission Statement: So here is what I pledge to do about it

It won't be easy and it will mean making some sacrifices. I love MAC products, Maybelline and Rimmel are my go to-es and Garnier is my everyday. But frankly, these products just are simply not worth it. There is a wealth of vegan or otherwise responsibly sourced products out there just waiting to be discovered, we just need to bother to look for them. We have grown lazy, so very accustomed to being told what to buy by our trusty stores that bring selsct brands under a single roof that we have lost the imagination, the initiative to look for alternatives and to weigh up our choices.


Bring back the Independents:

Small independent stores, small independent companies and brands for that matter are always being pushed to the curb to make way for larger commercialized products. We, the consumers, have a n unhappy tendency to pick the large stores, rendering the locals no chance of competing and are consequently wiped out.

So I say we should take our commerce back to these places and drive the sale of locally sourced, traceable I should add, produces. Bring back the flurry of small, cute, unique shops and brands and allow them to thrive on our high streets. We need to put place our money with more care and consideration.



the Buycott App: a handy database

screenshot of Buycott
screenshot of Buycott
I have been playing around with this gem for a short while and it quickly proves to deliver! The way it works is that you choose join the campaigns that are important to you and whilst out and about shopping, scan bar codes of products. The app flags them up if they go against your campaigns and shows you a list of other conflicts related to the product/company. You can also view the family tree of the related company as I have done for my illustration of Estee Lauder above.

I am also putting together a small list of 'clean' brands for reference which I will put up on my 'Links' page and will continuously add to as I discover more, keep checking back. If you have any suggestions, I would be super grateful if you could let me know down below.


Who cares?

I know a lot of people concerned about certain issues, who shy away from taking small personal actions like boycotting for the simple fact that they believe it will not make a difference. But it is us, the consumers who drive businesses, who drive the economy. As long a we demand, as long as we spend money their way, they keep producing. Frankly we have created these mammoths.

I strongly believe that if we make a conscious, committed effort, if we give our all into it, we can turn this ship around. It is not about one offs, and here-and-there's, it is about changing our attitudes and way of life. I really believe that we can show others that it can be done and they will , eventually, follow suit. 

We can instill positive values into our families and friends and influence the generation after us. Where we now make unconscious choices to shop at commercial stores, I hope in future it will be the same with regards to small independent stores and organic farms etc. I hope that we can create a culture where we question and challenge and refuse to fall in line where it disagrees with us, refuse to be controlled.

It all starts with us really, with these small baby steps. As they say, where there is will, there is always way!

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Monday, 21 July 2014
A post about something other than makeup, yay! Let us hope this is the beginning of a new chapter in my blogging aspirations (see 'My Blog and I') to have my blog encapsulate an array of topics as they enter my mind.  I have been dry of inspiration particularly whilst I have been away at uni but having bought new books at the start of summer (as is the tradition) that I am particularly excited about, I thought it would be something nice to share with my readers.



A bit of background

I used to devour books through secondary school, I kept a book list one particular school year which came to around 70 titles. Peculiarity enough I was not particularly well acquainted with neither a Library nor bookshops. My general source of books being my equally, if not more, enthusiastic friend who piled me with books at the beginning of each week insisting that I 'have GOT to read this, this, this and this!!'

Needless to say the genres I explored merged with hers. While I was infinitely grateful, three years on I figured that they were not to my taste and decided it was high time I actively looked for titles and authors that better suited my 'bent of min' dare I say? However as I began to invest time and energy into my academics, I had little left for leisurely reading. Regretfully, even to this day, I cannot pick up a book without experiencing a twang of guilt. The point I am trying to get across is that I am still 'exploring', that my choices are still somewhat naive and inexperienced. 

So anyway, away with the waffle, let's jump right in. 

1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath




I imagine a great many of your are well aware of American poet, Sylvia Plath, her private and professional background and of this book. Personally I only came across her with the advent of the 50th anniversary of her tragic death when the media was awash with stories related to her romanticized life. Catching little snippets here and there I was intrigued enough to do a little background research and it caught on, surprise surprise. 

The Bell Jar is Plath's only book, published in 1963, an autobiographical account of her battle with depression through a fictional character. I look forward to envisioning the world through her words, experiencing her trip into a psychological abyss as is promised by some excellent reviews. I was a little tentative approaching this book at first but I suppose my fascination overcame my caution.

I should also add that I particularly revel in artistic, poetic literature, books written with an elegant, artistic flair not simply a good story line. It follows that a book written by a poet would be irresistible.

I have yet to fully delve into her poetry but I have discovered a true gem of a Twitter account dedicated to her work, where snippets are posted regularly. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend to check it out @itssylviaplath.


2. The  Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng





This next one was something I happened to pick up in store whilst browsing. I suppose the first thing that drew me to it was the authors East Asian origin. Tan Twan Eng is from Malaysia, and the book itself based in Malaya, 1949. I kind of have this thing with that region of the world, it fascinates me for no particular reason and I have always been drawn to related works.

Once again described as being of sophisticated in language and having a multi-faceted approach, the book is focused heavily on mind, on memory, on an internal battle faced by a main character whilst she revisits her harrowing past as opposed to actual events. Again, it is a book that is sworn by many to leave a lasting impression on the reader - I look forward to it.


3. Reclaim You Heart - Yasmin Mogahed





Another beautiful soul, Yasmin Mogahed is a name that kept propping up, even before I followed her on social media. Her quotes are empowering and self-evaluative and a little background research shows she is a woman with impressive credentials, supplementary videos, articles, public speeches and bounds of personal experience. She writes about spiritual empowerment, about overcoming personal, emotional hurdles, and making peace with yourself.

From what I have read of the reviews, a great many people, women in particular have found solace in her writing from grief, from hurt. She is a Muslim woman, a role-model I should say, writing from an Islamic perspective, her book is endowed with verses of the Qu'ran and prophetic hadith, that serve as references, reminders and add further depth to the book. Having said that, there are many people who are not Muslims who have said that it has also helped them come to terms with a difficulty page in their lives so if you feel this is something you may be interested, I urge you not to shy away from it.



4. The Quran translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem




Continuing with the theme of religion, I have gotten myself this magnificent English translation of the Qu'ran. For those who are not aware, we are currently in the holy month of Ramadan on the Islamic calendar. The month in which Muslims all over the world fast and strive to spend more time and energy in prayer and worship. My hope was to study the book during this time. 

The Qu'ran, having remained unchanged since it was first revealed, in old Arabic so when translated resembles 'Shakespearean' English as we like to say, basically it is very difficult to decipher. In Haleem's version, he masterfully portrays it in modern English with additional information on side, retaining the deeper, spiritual value, the Qu'ran is special in its poetic qualities. There is a background to each chapter with the where's and why's of the revelation to put them into context and a general background to the Prophets life at the beginning of the book.

We have heard some of these phrases and stories before but to lift it directly out of the book with its corresponding Arabic text is sublime. It's a truly fascinating, enriching experience, it is a wonder I have never owned one before now.


5. Leather Notebook




Okay this is a bit of cheat, it is not a reading book, it's a writing one. I had to include it because it is just so pretty! It has soft feel to the cover and it smells like brand new shoes. I bought this with the intention to use for poetry. Yes, I do write poetry and have been doing so for years. In the past I have always written them on random scraps of paper, they would get shelved and collect dust, many lost. I wanted a book devoted to just that, to keep everything neat and together, voila!

It's rich earthy tone sets the perfect mood for intent musing and creates that 'old library' atmosphere. This book suits its purpose perfectly I think. Anyway I had bought two, one for both my self and my younger sister, who also writes. I hope they will be something we will cherish in the near future, full to the brim!

Concluding notes

And that is it folks, that is the literary edit for Summer 2014. If you have questions, or want a specific complete review on any of the books mentioned or better yet, if you have suggestions for me based on these, you can message me down below or catch me over on Facebook and Instagram. 

If you are curious about my poetry, head over to and follow me on Instagram where I have a dedicated account @cloudsandquills. I post new pieces on here as a write them, so they do come slow and steady.

Have a lovely day everyone,
Shamima
xx
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Saturday, 12 July 2014
Israeli prime minister insists that Hamas are hiding behind citizens, they only target areas linked with Hamas. Given that Hamas is the elected government of Palestine, their aim: resistance. That makes any state building, school, hospital, mosque, home a potential target. I suppose that explains why people are as equally likely to die in their homes as they are if they were to walk out of doors.

Hundreds turn out to demonstrate in Media City, Manchester to condemn the unbalanced representation of the events unfolding in Gaza/Israel by the BBC.

To put things into perspective, it is exactly the same as another country labelling the Coalition in the UK as a terrorist organisation and destroying everything here, our school, homes and hospitals in their hunt of these 'Coalition militants'.

Speaking of which, Palestine has no army, navy or airforce. So who are these miltiants so often spoken of?

Hamas are the product of a 65-70 year occupation of Gaza where the population have been walled off, their food and water controlled or cut off, their homes and lands confiscated, their people shot in the streets, beaten, prosecuted, imprisoned, tortured, humiliated and more. Had I been a child of Palestine,  I would have been born into these dire conditions and had I survived up to now this is all I would have ever known. Not a single day of my life would I have experienced the luxury of normal life, of security and of freedom.

When the Israeli prime minister says that they won't stop raining down drones, shells and bombs over Gaza until Gaza stop their attacks, what he is quite literally stating is that the Isreali government want the people of Gaza to lay down their resistance and accept the force of Israel, succumb to the savergery with which they have been treated these long silent years, to surrender their will, to let themselves be slowely and painful ground into the earth until they are left broken.

The occupation of Palestine is what needs to come to an end, enough is enough! It will not do for the UN to simply strongly suggest a seize fire. It may end the airstrikes for s short while as we have seen last year, as we have seen in 2009 etc but that would not end the suffering of these people. It needs to step up and hold Israel accountable for the innumerous international laws that it has broken, force it to finally end this inhumane blockade of Palestine. It needs to recognize the human rights of the Palestinian people. Just like ourselves, the people of Palestine cannot, will not and should never have to tolerate such treatment and over such a prolongued period of time whilst the rest of the world pretends it does not exist. Only and only then can peace truely prevail for both sides of this soridid business.

#freepalestine


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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
I have been away for longer than what is acceptable even for a students standards. 
So today I thought I would throw myself back on track and do a little review for all of you to break the extra masses of work I have organised for myself this summer - I sure do love giving myself a hard time. Most of my products are still boxed away with it being holiday and having absolutely no room for neither myself nor the excess of my collection(s) which I have hauled home much to my mothers horror. I did however retain a minute stash for my daily use including some odd bobs I have bought for my sister over the year hence am wholly entitled to feature them! 

So anyway let's get started.

I picked up The Eraser Eye Perfect and Cover concealer several months ago, and as you can see I have used a fair amount of it and it has been well used, excuse the tatty dirt, shape it is in. I have a perfectly good drug store concealer already that I am constantly repurchasing so it was more out of pure boredom and perhaps curiosity that I looked for an alternative. I have heard some very good reviews of this from people who swear by it so it was worth a look.

My first qualm has to be the limited shade range offered for this product, and if I am honest across the board for drugstore base makeup altogether. It is appalling guys, come on, I mean this is the 21st century and the British population is a great deal more diverse than what your products provide for *sigh*. Anyway I 'umm-ed' and 'ahh-ed' my way around the colors and walked away with the shade 'Nude' which turned out to be at least one shade too dark and too pink for my under-eye area, a little awkward for the under-eyes but oh well. 

I have to warn you things are going to go downhill pretty quickly from here so if you cannot bare it, turn away now.

Packaging 

First an foremost, I could not get the product out. the plastic packaging is very precarious. After twisting it for like the hundredth time did I get the satisfactory squelch of released pressure and oozing liquid.

It did feel nice on the skin though, the funny squishy sponge head thing is fairly soft against the skin and product it self was cooling.

Controlling the amount of product however is an impossibility, so more often than not you find yourself smearing on way more product than you could possible want, that might explain how I had got through so much of it so swiftly. I always have left over product on the sponge for next time I was not sure how to feel about.

Which brings me to my next point. As with any product that comes with a build in applicator, hygiene is an issue. I am sure there are colonies upon colonies raging parties on this sponge head now :/
Going back to the packaging, at one point I twisted the thing so much (because it just was not responding to me) that it 'broke' if you notice the gap between red and clear section, now making further twisting futile. I do manage to get product out by holding it down tightly and twisting at the same time, releasing at least twice the original amount of product. 



Application

the application of the product it super easy. I applied it directly to my under eyes from the sponge tip then used clean fingers to dab it and blend it in. no problems there.

Product:

The product itself is of a creamy consistency which glides on well. I would not call this hydrating though, it simply is not dry, greasy perhaps? It does dry some what powdery, but personally I would not recommend this for around the nose and mouth area, it feels far too greasy and offers little anyway.

By which I mean, the coverage. Again, a bit of a disappointment. it claims to 'conceal dark circles and fine lines', I have neither and I still felt it to be inadequate.

It is also cakey, it did not layer nor set very well for me, you will need a great deal of powder to stop this from budging and that just does not look pretty. I also did not find it to be very long lasting as compared to my other concealer.

One of their other claims is that this product has anti-aging properties, I really cannot comment on that one.


Conclusion

As ever, this is my own personal experience so many of you may very well find this product to feel different for you but as for me? I have offered it up to my sister to try, it may suit her skin tone better and she may generally have better luck with it, being so much less fussy than myself. I probobly won't be repurchasing this again. It wasn't nightmarish, just very blah. it didn't do anything for me at all. Never mind, better luck next time ey?

Break down

Pros:
1. Not dry
2. Easy application
3. Supposedly Anti-aging properties (will have to get back to you on that one)

Cons:
1. Awkwark packaging, keeps breaking
2. Cannot control amount that is 'ejected'???
3. color range 
4. Not enough coverage
5. Lacks longevity 

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014
The holidays are drawing to a close for me, in a few days I'll pack up what little belongings I dragged along with me from Leeds and the additional load I have newly purchased *gulp* and be on my way again.

We all know the secret to packing is keeping items to a minimal but interesting enough to last you the duration of your stay. I profess I am a hoarder in some way and I like my 'things'. But this holiday having bought only what I could fit in my makeup bag, I have found myself to be sufficiently equipped and never once feeling neither deprived nor overloaded.



I bought this beauty from one of my favorite stores, TKMax. It is a bi of a crazy warehouse-like mess in there but it houses a great many hidden gems!It is a love-hate sort of thing. This bag is the largest in a collection of three. I loved the oriental print as soon as I laid eyes on it. 

Soo... what IS in my bag? 

Firstly I must point out that I am lacking skincare, as I am waiting for a huge Korean skin care order to come through I don't really want to be buying more. I am relying on a trusty stash of samples to get me through for now.


1. Sun screen

Remember the golden rule of skin care. Use sun screen come rain or shine! Your skin is always subjected to the harmful effects of UV rays.


2. Make-Up Brushes

I have brought 3 different face brushes. The furthest is a large fluffy Eco Tools brush for all over powder application. The second is a flat stippling brush by Real Techniques I like to apply bronzer with and the foremost is of course the popular blush brush for highlighter and blush application.


3. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream

For base makeup it has to be my reliable BB cream by Missha. It gives a lovely semi-dewy finish, has sufficient coverage and it super easy to apply using only your fingertips. Its creamy consistency means I can use this on my face whether it is feeling oil or dry.


4. Concealer

My concealer of the moment is this liquid version by Collection. It is a fairly high coverage concealer with a a simple doe-foot applicator, great for on the go.


5. MAC: Mineralize Skin Finish Natural

I have a fair few powders I use interchangeable so never really get the opportunity to get a good feel for any single one. I really want to appreciate this powder more hence it also tagged along.


5. Elizabeth Arden: Pure Finish Bronze Power

This is in my bag for the same reason. I bought this product on a whim and realized that on my skin this shade 'Soft Radiance' is far too light to use as a bronzer but works pretty well as a highlighter. It gives a very subtle pretty glow but is probably not going to make it into my favorites.


6. Philosophy: Divine Blushing Bronzer

You have seen this product time and time again, and rightfully so. I feel it to be the perfect shade for my skin tone, a cool mauve based bronze and easy to pair with any look.

You may realize at this point I am wanting a blush, I actually decided to skip blush and opt for definition instead of color.


7. Loreal: Glam Shine Balm Gloss

I picked this pair up straight after my exams, so they are still fairly new to me. I must say I am enjoying them far more that I imagined I would. They give a gentle rush of color, with a little sheen and bit of sparkle. Although they are typical summery shades, I find them rather uplifting in the drab grey weather we are having. 


8. Urban Decay: Vice 2 Palette

This was purchased on the same day as the Glam Shine. As I am sure most bloggers and vloggers out there were, I was hugely anticipating this holiday palette released by UD, it is limited addition and comes complete with 20 brand new shades to the line. A little end-of-exams gift to myself. Of course I could not leave this behind! It comes with a very decent double ended shadow brush, shader at one end and a blender at the other.


9. Loreal: Super Liner Blackbuster

Quick, simply, easy and you're done in one swipe. Ever since I discovered this, I have not reached for my well loved gel liner, a little sad actually.




10. Rose & Co: Sweet Vanilla Salve

I cannot go a day without this. Rescue treatment for my lips!


11. Osmo: Berber Oil

I believe I have yet to do a hair care blog post fro you so this has not yet propped up. Osmo's Berber Oil smells both floral and fruity. I use a single pump of this through the ends of my damp hair after every wash. It speeds up the drying process and helps my hair dry naturally without going frizzy and static. Love this stuff!!


12. Soap & Glory Hand Food and Heel Genius

Your peripheries (hehe science-nerd coming through) need extra TLC during winter and this pair do the job superbly with their trademark trace of gorgeous scents.


13. Body Shop: Cocoa Butter

...let's be honest, all of you does! Super soft, super moisturizing! I believe this pot of magic to be the best in formula even against its better known fruity friends.


14. Impulse: Very Pink

I always worry about smashing perfume bottles whilst traveling. Impulse body sprays are fabulous for throwing into a bag and using on the go. They are light wearing, not too offensive and have a great range of scents to choose from. Foolproof and safe.

First post of the new year! Hope you enjoyed it and do make the most of what you have left of the holidays. As always, I greatly appreciate your readership, as usual don't forget to like, share, comment, +1 this post if you enjoyed it.
Until next time then,
xx



Monday, 23 December 2013


The Rimmel Apolcalips Lip Lacquers are old news, I know. I bought these in the summer when the blog-o-sphere was buzzing with excitement over them. I initially bought just the one to try out then went back for another three. I suppose that is saying something. Anyway, I figured it is better late than never, so here we are.


I was tentative about this product at first, having been described net-wide as being 'like a stain'. I have never delved into the world of 'stains', always assuming them to be dry and stubborn and patchy, naturally these terms also came to mind with regards to Apocalips. I am also not a lip gloss fan and you have to admit there is a glaring resemblance. But as with any old craze they are meant to be bought into and I had to try it for myself. I cannot for the life of me recall which came first, but now I have 4 of their shades nestled in my lip draw.



Packaging:
The outer packaging looks intriguing with its gradient effect on the tube and its geometrically shaped lid . The tube appears to be glass and the lid, plastic. At first sight, it does look much more substantial than an average lip gloss.


The wand inside it rather singular and exclusive to the line. It has a soft felt tip with a hallowing. I simply viewed this as a gimmick but it was only on application of the product that its purposed dawned on me. The little niche in the wand gathers product even after you scrape off the excess and as you glide it along your lips, you get a flush of deep rich thick color, not too much and not too little. With one swipe I can do both top and bottom lips without having to re-dip with this clever little cove. It really makes you wonder why all glosses don't come like this. A winning point.

The Product
As for the raw stuff it self. Surprisingly enough, it sat on the lips comfortably with somewhat of a creamy texture that isn't dreadfully drying. It is fairly glossy which is more so apparent with the deeper shades. As for its staining qualities, well beneath that layer of creaminess it does in fact stain the lips, something I personally liked about it! Why? Well when the product fades, which it inevitably will, the stain beneath it means that it does not leave behind a patchy mess, but a pretty flush of color. Speaking of fading, I do find the Apolcalips to last a fairly decent length of time and so doesn't require a great deal of topping up, another reason I tend to dislike lip glosses. I understand why some would describe it as being midway between a lipstick and a lip gloss, it sticks heavier and solidly on the lips as if it were a lipstick but the finish is more of that of a lip gloss, and then when it fades, it leaves a definite stain. all 3 in one!

To break up my rambling, here is the much awaited swatch-interlude.

1. 101 Celestial
A mauvey blue-toned pink




2. 301 Galaxy
A pale pink-violet



3. 501 Stellar
A bright almost fluorescent hot pink



4. 400 Big Bang
A bright super glossy blue-toned red



Personally the two shades that stand out the most to me are probably Galaxy and Stellar, only because they are just that little bit more unique than the other shades. I starred Galaxy in my Fall Favourites if you wish to check it out. The subtle pruple tone lets you carry of the effect of purple without alarming neither yourself nor those within your proximity. On the other hand Stellar has that vivid, coral-fluorescence going on about it that inspires the image of wild, exotic and very hungry flowers. 

So from me this bunch gets a great big thumbs up in the objective side of matters. Perhaps my only qualm with them is that they are not the first of products I reach for and for some reason are relatively easy for me to overlook, just a personal thing. The color range is another thing, it is rather limited and unimaginative aside from the two I mentioned. Rimmel did launch a few more shades, from what I recall they tended towards nude. Most, but one,  looked as though they were threatening to make me look ill. Of course the 'but one' was out of stock and I simply wasn't motivated enough to go hunting for it again.

Intriguingly enough there are those who stray from the common view and say that they disliked the product entirely. Personally I cannot find much to dislike about it, they are good products, not particularly exciting or noteworthy, but good. I probably will not be buying any more than I have, I believe my curiosity to be satiated here. It is a shame I don't wear them more than I do, is all.

So those were the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers for you! I really hope you found this post insightful, whether you share my views or contradict them do let me now down below. And if you enjoyed it do not forget to 1+ me and follow.

Ta for now
xxx

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