Lipstick & Chatter: Can We Stop With the Late Night Fireworks Now?

Everyone, can you believe its November? The German Market is just around the corner and so is the end of the year. I feel like it’s flying by quicker than I would like.

Shopping

These days, I get to come home to a great cinnamon scent in my room. I’ve been revisiting TK Maxx a lot waiting for a classically autumn scent like cinnamon or pumpkin in a reed diffuser. I own a few candles but I’m not allowed to use them upstairs for safety reasons, so the best near alternative for my room is a reed diffuser.

Now that I have my hands on a cinnamon scent, though, I think I would have preferred vanilla pumpkin or something without cinnamon as the scent is a bit strong. I’ve tucked away the reed diffuser in a corner where the scent will be less strong so hopefully, it won’t be so bad.

On the other hand, some of you may know that I love the Paper Place A4 Spiralbound notebooks from The Works. I’ve noticed that they’ve made their notebooks less pages recently although ultimately the same. I don’t know whether to be sad or happy seeing as it took me ages to get through them but now they’re less value for the same price!

University

I feel like I’m juggling so many things recently. Beyond university coursework, I’m also part of two societies, a language exchange group, a Japanese class and an extra module. I also have a gym membership and have been aiming for two days a week. I’d previously felt drained at most times during the week and at one point I started missing lectures and workshops in order to recover from my really long Tuesdays.

(This post goes out on a Tuesday, so rest assured I am probably dying at Uni as you read this.)

Until a few weeks ago, I also had two jobs. I’ve since quit the second job in order to have more time to fit all of these extra-curricular things with time to relax. The Tuesdays haven’t changed, essentially, so they’re still too long and tiring for the moment but I’m glad to have my Fridays and Sundays back – a few days where I can take time off and get ready for the next week. I feel as if I can still cramming in too much though and I’m still struggling to make it to the gym. I am hoping to change that this week.

NaNoWriMo

All this said, you’ll understand now why I’m finding it so hard to blog. You’ll be even more baffled to hear that I’m also adding NaNoWriMo to that list this year. For those of you unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month is a writing challenge to get 50k words done throughout the month. I’ve only succeeded once in 2015 and not reached 10k in subsequent years since. So, of course, I’ve set a small goal for myself of at least reaching 10k. Right now, I’m at 1k.

On top of that, I haven’t concretely planned my novel at all, whereas I have attempted plans for most of my previous projects. This is because, in my mind, I am still in the mindset of getting to know the characters and setting and when I try to write with a plot I quickly lose the plot (pun sort of intentional).

So I am actually approaching the novel more like a plan, and hopefully all those words will help me become more familiar with my characters. Case in point is that I started this month with only three characters and simply by writing about their setting I’ve now got at least eight characters.

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Lipstick Spotlight

Recently, the lipstick I have been wearing the most is my Smashbox Be Legendary in Legendary. I know I did review this lipstick a little negatively saying that it was not fully opaque and a bit patchy at times, but it means I’ve fully embraced a messy lip look.

I want something bold this autumn and winter as well as not too drying, so I have been wearing this two ways: popping this in the centre of my lips on top of Skinfood’s tinted avocado lip serum, or using the lipstick first in the centre and using a lip brush to line my lips in lip balm and soften the lip lines. I don’t have defined lips so softening lipstick lines really improves the look in my opinion. The result is this super plushy and glossy-ish look that I like wearing on a daily basis.

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The lasting power of the lipstick is not great so depending on food type it may have to be retouched. However, with just a drink or so, it will last well and only lose some vividity, fading to a more blotted look.

I did wear a liquid lipstick or two recently but I couldn’t handle just how drying they felt so I think I am back to bullets, pigmented balmy products and glosses for life. I picked my recent gel polish to match – it’s Halo Gel Polish in Apple Red, which is slightly orangey yet not too bright. Ask your local nail salon if they offer it, and if not they’re sure to know a trade stockist that does.

And Finally…

On a random note, I find myself picking more and more vegetarian options recently when I am going out for food. I recently picked up a jar of pumpkin seed butter to try out – it’s the one option I saw that was not nut-based (my sister is allergic) so it was an impulse buy! I just look at what interests me and many times it happens to be vegetarian. I told myself in this regard that I would never force myself to eat vegan or vegetarian, and focus on what I like, and it’s interesting to see what I naturally gravitate to and what I could easily give up.

Until Next Time,

X

Lipsticks in Rotation|April-July 2018

Hi everyone!

As you might be able to tell, this post was originally scheduled for the end of April, which quickly flew by as I had lots of university things to do. On top of that, I was very bored with my lipstick choices afterwards so this is essentially a catch-up in lipsticks, too. However, I’ve now gone through half the year without buying a single new lipstick, so yay!

Starting a Year-Long Lipstick No-Buy

Lipsticks in Rotation – January 2018

Lipsticks in Rotation – February 2018

Lipsticks in Rotation – March 2018


April

New Item: NYX Butter Gloss Intense in Chocolate Crepe

I’ve been wearing this a heck of a lot recently. Of all the days I wore lipstick this month, I was likely wearing this for over half those days. The shade is my favourite type, a medium nude and it’s refreshing to be able to wear it all day without it drying my lips. It’s thick but not too thick and still delivers a lovely shine whilst lasting surprisingly well.

New Item: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes

In contrast, this was a bit of a disappointment. It settled into my lip lines and was overall just underwhelming considering how well-loved this range is. I much preferred the Liquid Suedes which definitely felt like a better and improved version. However, I do love this shade – a muted pink which is super nice for spring.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Nouveau Vogue (mini)

Considering that my Bourjois Nude-ist is running out, this is actually a very acceptable stand-in for a cooler pink. It has a bit of mauve to it that makes it wearable on me but still not a nude at all. It’s girly yet totally cool. This is the nutcracker edition mini packaging, I think.

Nars Velvet Satin Lip Pencil in Yu (mini)

I underestimated just how bright this is. It’s also super blue toned and I haven’t worn this kind of shade since perhaps last year. At the moment, I think it looks very odd on my skintone so have only really worn it once this month! It’s a popular and raved about shade that I have seen a lot in the blogosphere but I don’t think it’s for me.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Scrooge | Review here

I adore this colour. Like Rose Lancome from last month, this is a shade of pink that seems to brighten up my complexion and also my day. Not to mention this formula lasts all day without fail. If you leave these tubes lying around still too much though, the formula tends to separate and look a little less lively, but otherwise, it is still completely useable.

Mamonde Color Balm Intense in #16 Velvet Red | Review here

I do love this shade – that kind of muted red that is really flattering on me. Is it just me or are pencil type lipsticks essentially the same as normal lipsticks? Especially after they are worn down. The packaging on them also generally looks less appealing too for not that many positives over a bullet. Due to the matte formula I’ve still been reaching for my lip brush to tidy the edges after applying this pencil type product.


May/June/July

I knew I wouldn’t be out as much compared to previous months, so I scrapped my planned rotations completely. Instead, I made sure to reach for shades that I really wanted to use up at the moment. They all happen to be products I have featured on this blog before in previous rotations, too. Either way, I didn’t care all that much.

My tube of Lancome’s Rose Nu is pretty much finished unless I use a brush to scoop out the last remaining bits. Burberry’s Rosewood has been my go-to neutral choice for work although it does feel drying halfway into the working day. Clinique’s Cherry Pop has been the obvious choice for any fancier days out. I’ve not varied much in my lipsticks besides these.


So, now that we are nearing August I’ve actually re-sorted my rotations box and not forgotten about it so there will actually be a new post at the end of next month… But what I really want to ask right now is ‘what do you do when you’re bored with your current makeup?’ …That hopefully doesn’t include buying more! Especially in the summer when I’m barely wearing any and prefer a ‘lighter’ face, so to speak.

Until next time,

X

Snap Reviews: Lip Creams from NYX and Collection

Hi everyone!

It’s taken me this long to finally try out the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. Not surprising, to be honest! It was one of those things I meant to buy and try as soon as NYX landed in the UK a while back but for some reason, I never got around to it. But here we are now… I also picked up the Collection Velvet Kiss and after seeing how similar the two products are, I thought I would feature them in the same post.


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

£6.00 – Available from Boots, Debenhams and many online stores like FeelUnique, Cult Beauty and LookFantastic.

I really liked this at first – it goes on the lips quite pigmented but might need more than one dip in the tube if you’ve got bigger lips. It even goes on with a bit of a sheen before it sets compared to the Collection Lip Cream which already applies quite dry.

It appeared smooth at first but cracks showed up in my bottom lip later when I smiled. However, it was a lot less drying compared to the Collection Lip Cream.

Cannes is a cute pink shade that is like Bourjois’ Nude-ist to me, but a little deeper and warmer, perhaps. It just seems way more flattering on me than Nude-ist, and I can actually imagine myself wearing this shade a lot, so I’m going to try and find a very similar one in a formula I like.

Zurich is a lighter, coral ish shade. The coral tones prevent this colour from being too light and bland on me. This particular shade was a gift from TrayTray and I don’t think I would have bought this colour to try myself otherwise, so I was surprised to find this to be a cute colour for the spring and summer seasons.

 

Okay, this picture doesn’t seem strange at all on my phone but my laptop shows it as super dim and cool-toned. Anyone else?

 


Collection Velvet Kiss Moisturising Lip Cream

£2.99 – Available from Superdrug

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This product was very obviously made to be a dupe of the Soft Matte Lip Cream – the tubes are almost identical apart from the slightly different finish on the lids.

Caramel is a very pretty nude brown shade I often struggle to find in stores because it’s all sold out. The price makes it a pretty irresistible pick-up if you like any of the small range of shades. This is the only nude brown shade. It has a very strong sweet smell that smells both delicious and slightly off-putting… sickly, maybe.

I’ve previously compared this to Velvet teddy in this post, so I’ll share the same photo below. It wears decently but I feel as if it is quite drying. On top of that, the tube feels quite empty and the applicator doesn’t pick up much product even when it’s new. Collection’s Lip cream only holds 5ml whilst NYX’s Lip Cream holds 8ml, so that might explain that.

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Overall, I think I’m going to conclude that these lip creams aren’t for me – they didn’t really live up to the hype for me and whilst they’re not awful, they’re also not mind-blowing but I can see why the NYX ones are a favourite.

Until next time,

X

Review: Skinfood Avocado & Honey Lip Serum

Hi everyone!

Now that I have established a lip care routine of sorts, I am looking into exploring other options for the steps I have. One of these steps involves using a thin ‘lip serum’ type product in the morning. It has to be really quick and easy to use and play well with my lipsticks and lip liners without compromising them. So for this, tubs are a no and sticks are okay… But I really love tubes as there is no time taken to ‘melt’ any product onto the lips – lanolin products being a sort of exception.

 

By the way, lip balms were not part of my no-buy. Tinted ones… well, I didn’t realise this one was tinted… I certainly don’t wear it in lieu of a lipstick, so I wouldn’t count this particular one… I don’t normally buy/wear tinted ones at all…

 

The product I used for this step prior was Dr Organic’s Hemp Lip Serum. It’s an oily gel sort of texture, in a tube, and in a thin layer, works really well for what I need it for without being too runny. But lip ‘serums’ are a rare product category and I wanted to see what other options I had. Lip essences are interesting too and I think the two terms might be used interchangeably and of course, lip oils are not to be ignored although true oil consistencies are not what I’m looking for.

I bought this product for £3.97 for 10 ml from RoseRoseShop on ebay, a known reputable seller of Korean cosmetics and skincare. As usual, it took about two weeks to get to me here in the UK.

This appealed to me as a morning lip balm because it has a little sun protection at SPF8 and has a tube packaging. to be honest, as I pat off the lip balm later the SPF is not a deal breaker as it won’t stay on. The avocado and honey extracts are supposed to help keep the lips moist. It smells of a typical lip balm in a stick – I think it’s lypsyl that comes to mind or the classic Nivea lip balm scent. That means it also doesn’t taste very nice.

I was really surprised to see the product come out so dark – a very deep berry colour! However, once I spread it on the lips this colour all but dissipates into a not-even-noticeable tint. It doesn’t appear too glossy or too matte – just a creamy shine.

When I am only wearing this balm during the day at home, the product lasts two or three hours on the lips before I have to reapply it again. This is with drinking water and a bit of snacking in between. It won’t last a meal, but as the tint is so light you’re not going to notice, visually, that it’s gone. At the same time, the tint makes my lips look healthier and less washed out. If you have more pigmented lips, though you won’t notice a difference.

It plays well under lip products. I usually press my lips against the back of my hand to remove excess and leave a thin layer. It doesn’t cause my lipstick to go on patchy and I can use my lip products as usual.

I wasn’t sure about this lip serum at first. I’m not sure I would still call it the kind of serum I was expecting. It’s definitely more just a thin balm. However, it’s really grown on me and I do enjoy using it now, especially the healthy flush it gives to my lips even if I do pat it off later on. I don’t think I will repurchase this again, though.

Until next time,

X

Review: NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Chocolate Crepe

Hi everyone!

It’s no secret that I have been loving glossy finishes as of late, so instead of rambling about it, let’s get straight to the snap review.

This was a birthday gift from my friend AT earlier in the year, swiped from my wishlist. I had tried the regular Butter Gloss in Praline, and it was great for a practically-clear gloss with minimal colour. I love layering it on top of nude lipsticks. But as you all know, my true love of glossies lies with really pigmented lacquers and stuff, so the intense version was on my radar.

The NYX Intense Butter Gloss costs £6.00 in the UK and is available at counters in Boots and Debenhams, and online at FeelUnique.

When I first swatched it on my hand it seemed a bit too dark and too cool-brown like Maybelline’s Brown Sugar. It ended up being a super nice shade on my lips, though – a slight warm pinkiness to it. A bit deep, but a great everyday shade.

It’s quite lightweight but you can still feel it on your lips because of the texture. Of course, being a gloss I don’t expect it to last at all but it will survive at least four hours without eating and with small sips of water during my work shifts. It does bleed more noticeably which is understandable as there is more pigment. But overall it actually doesn’t bleed that much. A lip liner is all that’s needed if that’s an issue. The pigment doesn’t settle into lip creases either and, as expected, it’s quite forgiving on flaky lips although those are still noticeable.

Yes, it’s a little sticky and my hair flies into it when I’m darting between shops with my siblings. But it doesn’t all adhere to my hair at once which is a little plus, I guess?

I’ve been wearing this an awful lot. Out of all the choices in my rotation this month, this one has been the most worn so far. I’ve just been loving the fact that I can wear this all day and have my lips still be plush and lovely by the evening. My mom, just before the aforementioned shopping, even made a comment on how glossy and nice they looked (so much so that she wanted to bite them, which I acknowledge is weird but I took it as a compliment so…). BASICALLY. I love this stuff.

I might not buy it in any other shade, though. This is literally the only shade that appeals to me in a gloss, as it would be the most forgiving. Bolder colours in a glossy finish are intimidating to me, especially the thought of them bleeding or wearing much more obviously.

Overall, this is a winner for me. I can imagine myself re-buying this a lot and it fulfils my need for a pigmented gloss perfectly.

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought a lipstick: 116

Battle of the Velvet Teddy Dupes #2: ft. the actual Velvet Teddy (LOL)

Over the last half a year, I have been really into nude lipstick shades. It used to be the bane of my life as I loved noticeable lipstick shades – I’d wear a red to Asda! But then I discovered shades that were just about noticeable but also really great choices for everyday wear. Namely, the medium-toned nudes.

Over the last few months, you might have seen me mention Velvet Teddy numerous times. For ages, I wondered whether it was the right shade for me and tried out a bunch of dupes and honestly, it works perfectly fine on my skintone. However, with my personal taste, I concluded that it’s just a tad too light. I always needed a darker liner to make them truly match my taste.

Then I remembered that Velvet Teddy came into the spotlight paired with the darker lip liner, Whirl. Not a mind-blowing realisation, sure, but it made me feel a bit better not loving the shade by itself as it was clearly not just me. Where possible, I’d rather use a lipstick by itself at the moment without all the primer, liner and topcoat stuff that is tacked on top these days. I do still love a good liner! But I love a lipstick that performs brilliantly by itself even more.

(I have totally been a lip brush convert, though, thanks to Lisa Eldridge. Who was I without one??)

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Anyway, I wanted to show you all some shades that I would put in that Velvet Teddy category of nudes for me – passable, but sort of boring. Nudes that always need that extra something to make me feel amazing.

I accumulated a few more nudes like this, and I wanted to do another comparison post, but I felt that it was a bit pointless without having the real Velvet Teddy on hand to swatch. Thankfully, Q let me borrow hers! *Sobs* I’m so grateful.

Wet N Wild Bare It All

Maybelline Clay Crush

Oh, you surely know about these already. I wrote a comparison post here comparing the two. The shades are almost identical with Clay Crush having a VERY SLIGHT peachier tone to it, but on the lips this difference is unnoticeable. I haven’t included full lip swatches for this post as I am already quite happy with the current ones on the previous post, so do check them out there.

Maybelline Unreal – this shade leans on the cool side, but lacks the very slight pink/mauve that Bare It All has, making it look almost greyish on my skintone. It’s a lovely lacquer that wears comfortably.

Collection Caramel – This is my least favourite of the bunch. It is only £2.99, but I also found it drying and generally not as nice as the others, which is a shame.

In this arm swatch, I included swatches of two nude shades I actually enjoy. They are there to demonstrate how deep I prefer my nudes to be, at a minimum. As I may have mentioned, Soft Spoken is literally perfect for my taste resulting in it getting a lot of wear before getting into lipstick rotations. I’d put NYX’s Intense Butter Gloss in Chocolate Crepe in as a ‘perfect’ nude as well although that’s not included here.

The takeaway from this post is hopefully, for me to stop lusting after lip shades that I know aren’t ones that I love, if that makes sense! While I love the nude trend now that ultimately hit the stage due to this lipstick, nude is a different thing for everyone. All too often, I fall for hype and community love although less so recently, and most persistently with Velvet Teddy.

Do you have a hype-induced lipstick that you just can’t love?

Until next time,

X

 

Review: Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer in Unreal

Hi everyone!

I’m back with a lip lacquer review. Yes, they’re still my jam. No, this doesn’t tick all my boxes, but it comes pretty close.

The Maybelline Vivid Hot Lip Lacquer retails for £6.99 in local beauty stores and is available in all sorts of shades from nudes to deep vamps. As I’ve been really into nudes as of late it was perfectly reasonable for me to pick Unreal.

The doe foot is fairly large and wide, with a dip in the middle to hold more product. It depends on how much you like the colour, and how much you want to apply. It picks up enough for a high gloss finish but for a swipe over lip liner which I do, it can be a little much as I like a bit of the liner colour to peep through underneath and so opt for a thinner layer.

This shade, Unreal, is slightly cool toned and when I first wore it, it was almost greyish.

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As this is a little bland of a colour for my taste, I like to layer with a deeper lip liner for a lovely full nude lip. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a deeper nude shade, so I hope they expand the range because otherwise, I do like this. It wears well, not bleeding after three hours although this is helped along even further with a lip liner. Of course, it transfers onto everything, and it’s a little sticky. I tend not to pick bright colours in lacquers for this reason.

Overall, I would totally buy this if they had a deeper nude, but this particular shade I won’t repurchase again.

Until next time,

X