Friday, April 6th, 2012

By Polly of Beauty Mish Mash

Polly is a 22-year old recent graduate who hails from England. She studied East Asian studies, so she learned some Japanese and even spent six weeks in Japan last summer–she loved it and hopes to return one day.

She currently lives with her family and waitresses while trying to decide on her future career. Polly is fortunate to have a wonderful boyfriend who spends countless hours with her at Boots and makeup counters–even if it is done so begrudgingly! Check out her blog, Beauty Mish Mash!


Springtime in England

Now that it is well and truly spring in the world of beauty, I thought I would try and track down some pretty pastels suitable for the occasion. I always find it hard to ditch my red lips and glitter, as holiday make up is my favourite type! I tried some new products to create a really soft, pastel look, and have reviewed the English products that I used below.

Eyes

Natural Collection Solo Eyeshadows (£1.79 each) are from one of Boots’ budget make up ranges. In my look below I used Candy Floss, Lilac Shimmer, Aqua Shimmer and Secret Lagoon. I chose these eyeshadows with the aim of creating a really pretty look with pastel colours, so whilst I wanted pigment, I didn’t want them to be overpowering. Unfortunately, I found it hard to get any color payoff from these, and I had to pack it on to get anything to show up! Even after this, I might as well not have bothered using Candy Floss, since it is such a poorly pigmented eyeshadow that I couldn’t see it no matter how much I applied! Aqua Shimmer and Secret Lagoon were better in terms of pigmentation, but I still had to work hard to get the color pay off I needed. My pastel look was still wearable, but due to these eyeshadows being so difficult my eyes didn’t turn out as I intended! I understand that I cant have the same expectations for budget and high end eyeshadows, but if I can’t even see the color I’m trying to apply then it’s a real issue for me.

Cheeks

Dainty Doll Blusher in Hippy Shakes (£13.50 for 46g) is a product that I was extremely excited to try! Dainty Doll, a brand created by Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts, is designed for those with pale skin that isn’t catered for by most brands. This is a problem that I am extremely familiar with, but I haven’t actually tried any products until now. This pastel lilac blusher is unsurprisingly very subtle, but in all honesty I found it a bit too subtle – it hardly shows up on me, and if I try to build it up it ends up looking too white and it just sits on my skin. I think this is the first product I have ever tried that I feel is too light for me! I wonder just how many people it would actually suit, since I’m on the very pale end of the spectrum. It was a bit of a miss for me, but I must say that when I was shopping for it I also swatched the bronzer, which looks like it could be absolutely gorgeous, so I’ll have to try that at a later date!

Lips

Barry M Lip Paint in Palest Lavender (£4.49) is a pale, lavender color lip stick with a hint of pink. It has plenty of slip so glides on easily, and wears well for about 4 hours. You can see from the pictures below that it looks very patchy on my lips. It didn’t look that terrible in real life so I was quite shocked when I saw the pictures! It did cling to dry patches, and my lips are exceptionally dry at the moment (thank you, English weather!), so I think that is what caused the problem. I really like the color, as it is different to anything else that I own, but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that suffers from particularly bad dry lips. I’ll definitely be trying this again once my lips recover!

Overall, it seems that all of the products I tried for this look were a bit of a miss! I’m so disappointed as I’d have loved to be able to recommend something to you! Are there any pastels that you love which I could have tried instead?

See more photos! Continue reading →

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

By Polly, Local Contributor, English

Polly is a 22-year old recent graduate who hails from England. She studied East Asian studies, so she learned some Japanese and even spent six weeks in Japan last summer–she loved it and hopes to return one day.

She currently lives with her family and waitresses while trying to decide on her future career. Polly is fortunate to have a wonderful boyfriend who spends countless hours with her at Boots and makeup counters–even if it is done so begrudgingly! Check out her blog, Beauty Mish Mash!


5 English Brands You Should Try

There are so many amazing English brands that I found it hard to choose just five! Which ones would you have chosen? I would love to hear about your favorite English brands and products!

Sleek

I’ve seen a lot of love for Sleek in the blogosphere, and I’m not surprised!  The products are extremely high quality for a very reasonable price. Their eyeshadows are smooth and pigmented, and they come in a wide range of colors.  Their blushers are equally fabulous!  I’m always excited to see their latest release, and have never been disappointed in a product from them.

  • My star product: Sleek’s Pout Paints (£4.99) are incredible. The first time I tried one, it wore for 12 and a half hours before I had to remove it to go to bed! They are ridiculously pigmented, and they are designed to be mixed together, so you can even create your own customized lip color. I can’t wait to try this out!

MeMeMe

MeMeMe is only available in larger Superdrugs or online – I do wish it was easier to locate! Over the last few years the packaging has all been redesigned, and now it looks really pretty and feminine. The prices are slightly above the average drugstore brand, but I do think that the products merit this. A couple of the products remind me of their Benefit equivalent – think cheek and lip tints and boxed blushers. I can’t say how they compare though, because after trying MeMeMe’s version I haven’t felt the need to see how Benefit fares in comparison!

  • My star product: I love, love, love the Poppy Cheek and Lip Tint (£5.25)! It is a lovely baby pink that gives such a healthy flush to my cheeks. It’s a great every day color for lips, too, but can be a little drying (I’m yet to find a lip tint that isn’t, though).

17

17, available from Boots, offers the cheapest products out of these 5 brands. I do feel that this is reflected in the quality of some of the items, but I still think it is a great brand to try if you’re new to make up, or if you’re trying to save money! 17 often have a generous GWP on offer, and you only need to spend around £5 to receive it.

  • My star product: I’d say see whatever takes your fancy! Some days I like looking through the lipsticks, and other days, I like the nail varnishes. Because the price is so reasonable, I don’t mind too much if I end up with a color that doesn’t suit me, or a product that isn’t perfect – it’s fun to experiment sometimes!

Barry M

Barry M is probably my very favourite English make up brand. Discovering it really was the beginning of my make up addiction! I love their products, their prices and their bright colour selection. If you want to try out a new bright colour of eyeshadow or lipstick but you’re not sure whether you’ll like it or not, Barry M is a great way to try it without breaking the bank.

  • My star product: Without a doubt, it has to be their Dazzle Dusts (£4.59). There is such a vast selection of beautiful colors, and I really can’t resist them. They look lovely once applied, but I do need to wear them over a good eyeshadow primer, otherwise they are prone to creasing.

Soap & Glory

Soap & Glory isn’t primarily a make up brand, though they have very recently launched a new make up line that I have yet to try. They specialize in skincare and bathing products, and they definitely do it well. The products all smell incredible and feel lovely on my skin. Their vintage style packaging looks very nice in my bathroom too!

See more photos! Continue reading →

Monday, December 12th, 2011

By Polly, England, Local Contributor

Polly is a 22-year old recent graduate who hails from England. She studied East Asian studies, so she learned some Japanese and even spent six weeks in Japan last summer–she loved it and hopes to return one day.

She currently lives with her family and waitresses while trying to decie on her future career. Polly is fortunate to have a wonderful boyfriend who spends countless hours with her at Boots and makeup counters–even if it is done so begrudgingly! Check out her blog, Beauty Mish Mash!


5 English Golden Glitters for the Holidays

When I think of make up for the holidays, I immediately think of a strong red lip and lots of gold glitter, which is why I decided to find and test a few glittery products from England!

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment (£15.00 for 1.3g) is a gorgeous deep golden-bronze colour strewn with silver glitter. When I photographed it with my flash, I could also see some pretty red and green glitter, but unfortunately, I couldn’t see this with my naked eye due to the horrible dark English weather at this time of year, so my swatches reflect that. This is finely-milled, smooth, and easy to blend. It has quite a high price tag, but this is truly reflected in the quality; I can’t recommend it enough! Please click here to see some wonderful swatches from Christine which show this beautiful product at it’s full potential!

It’s no secret that I love Barry M’s loose Dazzle and Glitter Dusts, and this shade is no exception. True to its name, Barry M Gold Iridescent Fine Glitter Dust (£4.59) is a subtle, iridescent gold strewn with golden glitter. I wouldn’t agree with the description of ‘fine’ glitter dust, but it is easy to work with nonetheless. It’s really pretty and a great alternative if you don’t fancy going for the full-on gold glitter look!

Models Own Gold & Gold Searkle Powder Eyeshadow (£5.00 for 3.5g) is your ultimate, in-your-face, chunky yellow gold glitter! It’s an absolute pain to apply and is fall out central, but I felt that I had to include a glitter like this. Be sure to use it with a good primer or mixing medium!

17 Stardust Starry Eyes Glitter Liner (£3.99 for 6ml) is a gorgeous glitter eyeliner with a gold base and tiny bits of gold and silver glitter. I can also see very subtle flashes of red and green when swatched, but this doesn’t translate to the eyes. I think that glittery eyeliner is a great way to add interest to a look, so was really disappointed when this performed really poorly! It flaked off in big chunks within a couple of hours, leaving me thankful I only tested it around the house!

Collection 2000 Dig It! Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Liner (£2.99 for 6ml) is what I want from a glitter liner–easy to apply, long lasting and packed with sparkle. This is a mixture of matte black and gold glitter, which gives a lovely blackened gold finish. After testing this, I can’t wait to try some more of Collection 2000’s glitter liners!

After testing all of these products, I’ve got the glitter bug, so would love to hear about your favourite glittery products in the comments! :)

Check out swatches! Continue reading →