Saturday, 31 March 2012

Face of the Day ~ Burgundy Lips.

Lips ~ Rimmel in Bordeaux
Mascara ~ The Body Shop's Super Volume Mascara
Eyeliner ~ Yves Rocher - Luminelle Eye-liner Pinceau

ombre purple hair gradient
I don't normally do FOTDs but due to the wind that randomly appeared on the day I was planning on doing an outfit of the day I decided not to do the shoot but I didn't want my makeup and hair go to waste.
This is the first time I've done something like this to my hair, since usually my hair is pretty short it never gets long enough to do anything with. Actually the boyfriend did this, he wanted show me how well he can plait hair and I really love it! He actually did a good job. It shows off the last remaining bits of my purple really well and it makes a really pretty gradient ombre effect. Although I do still have to work out how to secure it and hide the slides properly. One step at a time.
The lipstick I'm wearing is one of my favourites as well and I came across it - like I do with so much of my makeup - by chance. My mum had accidently bought two of them and gave me one and since I'm always happy to try any shade once I gave it a go and ended up really loving it. I can't speak for how long it lasts (in my experience not very) but the colour is gorgeous.
As you can see, my hair is still in desperate need of dying. Not long now! I'm literally counting down the days! I am so excited I cannot tell you. Me and the friends always have a laugh sitting in my little bathroom armed with bleach, foil and (turquoise!) dye and talking about crap for a lot of hours, so look out for that post in just under 2 weeks. Before that though I'll be putting up a post showing some of my previous hairstyles and colours (there have been a lot).

What's your favourite dark red lipstick? How long does it last?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Outfit of the Day ~ keys to the castle.

{Well it's love
It's love
It's love
Make it hurt

The keys to the castle

(are right where I left them)
The princess walked in
Just to take more attention.}
~ Taking Back Sunday
Drop-hem skirt: New Look
Top: New Look
Heeled brogues: old New Look
Tights: ASOS
Key necklace: old New Look
Cross bracelet: ASOS
Cross earcuff: New Look (bought recently but can't be found on the website!)
Face: Illamasqua lipstick in Disciple

I wish I could talk about how cool doing this shoot was and how I barely felt the cold but I cannot tell you how horrible this day was. I had this outfit and where I wanted to shoot it set in my head and there was only one day me and the boyfriend could really do it so when it started raining in the morning I said I didn't care and that we were still gonna do it. I regretted that decision the minute I got out of the car and start walking through the wind and rain, and it got even worse when I took my coat off to take these photos. Either way, the place - Scotney Castle is another National Trust place that I love, in fact it is probably one of my favourite places. Had we stayed longer there would probably be more photos showing off how beautiful it is there. I'm sure I'll end up doing another shoot there at some point. I apologise for sweeping away the cool facade Amy built for me when she featured me on her blog the other day which I am so honoured by, she's such an awesome blogger, so go and give her some love.

So, the actual outfit. Was feeling a bit gothic, did you notice? I needed a contrast after this. I am so in love with New Look's gorgeous chiffon dip-hem skirt, it's so pretty and floaty and dramatic. I also needed to wear Illamasqua's Disciple lipstick some more as well, I think it's so amazing. In fact, most of this outfit is pretty new, including the ear cuff (I'm too much of a wuss to actually pierce my cartilage).

As always all photos are taken by the wonderful boyfriend, go and give his tumblr some much deserved love.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Portland Black Lipstick Co. swatches

When I recieved Portland Black Lipstick Company's Black lipstick whilst I was doing my comparative review of many black lipsticks I also recieved a few samples of some of their other, darker colours. I was so impressed with their black, it was by far the best out of all the lipsticks I tried so I decided I wanted to share their other colours as well, 'cause I feel this company deserves more love! I'm not getting paid by them to say it, I was just really blown away with the quality of their black and their other colours are really unusual and lovely as well.

Something I have to point out before we go any further is any blotchyness is entirely down to my application, since the samples came as slices in packets I used them to practise using a lip brush (something I've only started doing very recently) which means I'm not very good at it yet - although hopefully you'll see some improvement. The point of these swatches is to show their colour, if experience (of their Black which I have in full size) is anything to go by then these should apply like a dream from the bullet. If you want a better idea of how they look applied properly look at my comparative review of their black lipstick.

Upon looking at the actual samples before application, the formula looks like it has very very fine glitter in it, which translates as a subtle metallic sheen instead of a sparkle, which is what I personally prefer.

Blue Lagoon
A dark green base with an emarld shimmer.
This colour looked more green in the sample but on the lips it looks like a lovely, moody teal.
blue lagoon

Indigo Blue
A dark blue base with a really rich dimensional blue shimmer.
This one is my absolute favourite. Just so pretty.
Indigo blue

Artifical Amythest
A dark purple base with a pinky-purple shimmer and just a hint of gold (which is more obvious when looking at the actual sample in it's packet).

Coffee, Black
A dark mocha base with a very sparse orange/brown shimmer.
This one has less glitter than the others which means the shimmer isn't as obvious. In real life it looks almost black in some lights and it makes me think of the 90s for some reason.
If you want to see what it looks like in natural light, I wore it for this outfit.

Pewter Cauldron
A medium gun-mental base with a subtle, white shimmer.
Like "Coffee, Black" this one doesn't have as much shimmer as Indigio Bridge or Artificial Amythest.

A very dark grey base with orange/gold and green shimmers.
This one has a lot of fine glitter, like the earlier ones. It's a really interesting, inbetween colour, I don't really know what colour I'd actually call it?

And here's just a comparative swatch so you can see them all together:
Portland Black Lipstick Company Swatches Pewter Cauldron, Artifical Amythest, Indigo Bridge, Blue Lagoon, Metallurgy Coffee, Black.
L-R: Pewter Cauldron, Artifical Amythest, Indigo Bridge, Blue Lagoon, Metallurgy and Coffee, Black.

Have you ever tried any PBLC lipsticks? What did you think? Got a favourite shade?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Rainbow Cake + Psychedelic Pig.

Heeey everyone and hello to my new followers :) happy to have you onboard.
This post will just be a quick 'look what I made' post. Last Sunday I went to see a friend (Mook) to try take 2 of a project we had attempted at Christmas last year - making a rainbow cake. You know, those awesome ones you always see photos of on tumblr and stuff, in fact Betty Leopard made a pretty successful one the other day.
Unfortunately mine and Mook's turned out horrendously the first time round:
My reaction to how bad the buttercream tasted
It may look horrendous (and the inside looked worse) but trust me, it tasted a lot worse. The main reason being that we used very cheap Asda food colouring which firstly did a very very bad job of colouring (hence that first photo) and secondly made everything taste disgusting. Needless to say it was a hilarious day but our goal was not achieved.
However, take 2 turned out AWESOME. With a new set of better quality food colouring we set out to make our dream rainbow cake. We were literally on pins the whole time afraid something was going to go wrong, not letting ourselves believe that this time it would turn out well. When we have finally finished we danced around the kitchen in complete disbelief about how beautiful our cake was. And behold!
When it went into the oven they looked like play-doh. And those are chocolate chips as well (which we thought were an ingenious addition)
Look how amazing it is! It may not look as ridiculously perfect as some others but we were (and still are) damn proud of it. Although the orange buttercream came out a bit too coral and just wouldn't go brighter. It tasted fine as well! Like actual cake instead of...hell. It was super sweet though so we're thinking next time we'll use a different recipe.

During the same day we also decided to draw on a piggy-bank for funsies. We split in half and we did one side each. I'm pretty pleased with the result, I especially love it's sweet little face (I may be biased since I drew it):
My side
Her side
Isn't he sweeeeet?

Have you made a rainbow cake before? Link it!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Outfit of the Day ~ dark waters.

{No sound comes from the sea above me
No messages crackles through the radio leads
They'll never know, never no never
How strange life in dark water can be.}
~ Al Steward, Life in Dark Water 

Skirt: New Look
Top: H&M
Necklace: New Look
Bracelet: H&M
Shoes: New Look
Face: lipstick is Illamasqua in Disciple
It would seem that this was a very New Look reliant outfit. This is thanks to the vouchers I get pretty much every year from someone or other (not that I'm complaining).
Excuse my aweful looking hair, it is a combination of having been freshly washed and dried, as well as some wind and the fact that is desperately needs re-dying.
This outift is kind of lacking in photos because we went out at night to do the shoot and a combination of the biting cold and the boyfriend's two camera batteries running out (just as I was balancing precariously on a breakwater ready for a shot) meant we only managed to took a few successful photo, but I really like the feel of them so I'm going to share them with you!
I am getting so into maxi skirts at the moment. I've already bought this one and a dip hem (the more modern take on the maxi) in the space of a few weeks and I still want another one from New Look. I've got maxi fever (I delibrately avoided maxi madness...because I don't like word puns).
In other news I am revising my rear off at the moment but come Friday 2:00pm, I will be free for a month! Joy! I've got a lot of posts planned, including some swatches from the Portland Black Lipstick company (they sent me some samples when they sent me the black lipstick and I thought they'd be fun to swatch - swatching can get a little addictive).
That's all for now.

As always you can find my lovely photographer here, go check it out, his images are always amazing.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Lipstick Review ~ Blackest of Black (part 2)

This is the second part of my quest to find the best black lipstick out of those on offer on the highstreet and online. To see my reviews of Manic Panic - Raven, Portland Black Lipstick Co. - Black and Barry M - Black go here.

Manic Panic - Lethal
this one came to me slightly damaged which is why I was able to get it for free.
Manic Panic also do a vegan-friendly range called Creature of the Night, from which Lethal comes. I know there are quite a lot of people out there (especially those into the alternative make-up scene) who really value vegan products, so this one's for you!
Price: £9.94, cheapest found, included P&P (others: £10.98, including P&P)
Thoughts: The first thing I noticed is the bullet smells a bit weird, but once on my lips it wasn't really noticeable. It applied well and the colour was nice and pigmented, I'd say as a general better than the other Manic Panic lipstick (in Raven) I reviewed in part 1. I wore this for about two hours, in which I talked, drank and ate, the fade wasn't as bad as expected (although it did happen it wasn't too significant) and I noticed it gathering in the creases of my lip and near the end got a bit patchy. Something I noticed when doing the swatches on my arm (which you can see at the bottom) is that this actually has a sort of pink base to it, which isn't noticeable when on the lips but which I thought was interesting.

  • vegan friendly
  • good initial pigmentation 
  • non-drying and no migration
  •  a bit more expensive
  • fades fairly quickly and in a weird way 

Miss Sporty - Extreme Black
The lid is like that because I bought a factory sample since it was cheaper
Price: £2.59 (can be found in Superdrug and Boots)
This is a brand I really didn't expect to have a black lipstick at all, so I approached Extreme Black with extreme caution.
Thoughts: My overall impression: not good. Possibly the worst out of all the lipsticks I tried the application was patchy and even after a lot of building up and layering the colour wasn't very opaque and faded very quickly and made the patchyness even more obvious. It migrated a lot and all of this happened winthin an hour even though I wasn't even talking or anything.
  • cheap
  • patchy
  • very quick fade
  • very quick migration
  • poor pigmenation

Stargazer - 110 (Black)
Stargazer is the alternative answer to Barry M, in my opinion. I've never tried any of their stuff out but I've always been aware of it. Being so cheap I was a little skeptical to say the least.
Price: £2.99 - free UK P&P (others found: £3.65 - including P&P)
Thoughts: I thought application was fine and the pigmentation was pretty good. The fade I would was on a par as the two Manic Panic lipsticks and near the end got a bit patchy. It also started drying out my lips a bit so when I removed it I had bits of black skin all over my lips.
  • cheap
  • good initial pigmentation
  • drying
  • fades fairly quickly

Comparison and Personal Favourite
This is just a comparative swatch to show the difference in pigmentation side by side. For each I did one stroke straight from the bullet.
Left to right: Miss Sporty, Manic Panic - Lethal, Stargazer, Manic Panic - Raven, Barry M, Portland Black Lipstick company.

I think even from this swatch alone it's obvious who the winner is. In fact, in every category Portland Black Lipstick Co.'s black lipstick was beyond superior to the others. I am not being biased (they did provide me with a sample), it is just the facts. To look at their review and find links to their lipstick go back to part 1. As for the others, I'd say Barry M, Stargazer and both Manic Panic lipsticks are pretty much equal in their pros and cons although potentially Manic Panic's Lethal and the Stargazer lipstick were slightly better. I would definitely not recommend Miss Sporty, it was just very very bad.

Other Black Lipsticks
Obviously I couldn't afford to buy every black lipstick I found that companies couldn't send me a sample of so I just had to leave it at that with some of them. So here is a list of some others:

Nyx - Black Onyx
Lime Crime - Styletto
Illamasqua - Pristine 
Mac - Black Knight
Ka'Oir - Night
OCC - Tarred
Urban Decay - Oil Slick (upon researching I found that it is very sheer and more suitable for darkening a lip shade than actually being a black lipstick)

And there we have it. That was pretty intense! It was a lot of wearing lipstick in my bedroom and occasionally starting at myself in the mirror and making a lot of notes. I hope it was helpful to at least someone.
So, which is your favourite? Have you tried any other black lipsticks? Done any looks with them? Show me!

Friday, 9 March 2012

A Very Cultured Week Indeed.

I haven't written post like this in a while but I've done so many things that I want to share with everyone that I thought it was about time for another one. So here I'm going to take a break from reviewing and outfits (although don't worry, there are many lined up) and talk about life!

The Ballet
My cultured week started midweek, on Wednesday when I went to see Swan Lake done by the Moscow City Ballet at one of my local theatres; the Hawth. This was my first time seeing live ballet, although I have watched it on Sky Arts before (including the beginning of Swan Lake). My overall impression was a mixed one.
When you watch ballet on TV what isn't clear is the inevitable noise of many wooden ended shoes and slighty squeaky floors, which detracts from the overall grace and elegant; ballet is supposed to be about silent beauty. However, some of the scenes were truely lovely, especially during the scenes where all the swans amass together in a flurry of delicate white; so pretty. You also expect perfection from ballet dancers (well, that's the seterotype that's convey in films and stuff) but a few mistakes were made, although it didn't take away from the fact that these people aren't just dancers, they're atheletes, especially the men who had the most muscular legs I have ever seen (although the prima ballerina had the most skinnest arms, which was a little frightening).
Another thing I had slight issue with was the story, I feel because there is a set piece of music for each scene they could go on for a while and often it wasn't very obvious what was going on and unfortunately, for the most part (and I do stress for the most part) ballet dancers can't act very well. Luckily the programme had a nice synoposis of each act so I understood what was going on but sometimes I didn't feel what was going on. Nonetheless the dancing was always beautiful and often spell-binding. Odette/Odile was perfection.
And on a lighter note all the men were wearing white tights which meant you could quite literally see everything. Everything.

The Theatre
On Thursday I went to a different local theatre which I go to quite often (the Archway Theatre) to see The Pillowman, a play by Martin McDonagh. A completely different experience from the ballet, the script was so so so good and intense and the acting matched it. For some reason even though the story is really dark I didn't leave the theatre disturbed, I don't know how they did it. I have less to say about this than the ballet because I go to the theatre quite often so it wasn't a very new experience for me - don't get me wrong though, I love the theatre.

 My favourite room (possibly) of the Maritime museum. The words behind me were being projected and moved like waves.
 My second favourite room just had all these amazing stain glass windows. This one is my favourite, the colours were so vivid and gorgeous. I think we can all agree on who looks the most graceful.
 Walking away from the observatory and the museum.

On Saturday me, the boyfriend and his parents headed to London for the day. Our first stop was the Greenwich Observatory, which is also a museum about time. I got to stand on the Merdian line and later when I looked out of the window I saw a man who looked like an old regeneration of Doctor Who but who actually turned out to be a tour guide. Personally I found it hard to be interested in most of it, but the old clocks were pretty and it was in a nice location.

After that we walked down the hill to the National Maritime Museum which I thought was going to be equally as uninteresting but was actually amazing! The way the information was presented really drew you in, it was really imaginative in how they used technology and other methods to grab your attention. I was really impressed and would definitely recommend it if you've got some time to spare and you're in the area.

Art Gallery Exhibition
On the same day as I went to the museums I also went to the Royal Academy of Arts to see the David Hockney exhibition, where they had basically cleared the whole place of everything and filled it entirely with Hockney pieces. I've got to say, I do like Hockney's use of colour and I really like some of his smaller canvases of the countryside. I also liked how during his films he kept the same unusual, bright palette from his paintings. Maybe it's just me though, but I'm not sure it was worth using the entire Academy, I mean he's good, but I wasn't blown away or anything. I guess it's hard to say since it's so subjective, not to say I didn't enjoy it or anything! It was fun walking around with the boyfriend giving him my impressions of an art snob occasionally. I thought his use of the iPad app was cool, especially at his age to be embracing technology and proving you're an all round artist is very impressive.

So, that about sums up my thoughts. Have you done anything exceptionally cultured recently? Or more interestingly, what's your favourite 'cultured' thing to do; Art? Drama? Ballet? Opera?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Review ~ Illamasqua lipstick in Disciple.

Every time I went onto the Illasmasqua website I would go straight to the lipstick page to look at Disciple. I thought it looked like such a gorgeous, midnight navy blue. I was beyond lucky when Hayley for Illamasqua sent it to me! Literally died of happiness. Before I received I had looked around at other reviews just to see what other people thought. I found that a common complaint was that it was apparently quite dry which meant application was difficult.
Upon receiving it I was happy to see that I was still in love with it. It such a moody, dark colour, almost black but bright enough for the interesting blue tone to be noticeable. I think it's really a great alternative to just black. When I tried to apply it the first time I did experience what others had also - that the formula felt really dry and more like dragging a crayon across your lips (someone else's words, not mine). However I found that once I'd 'broken' into it by getting past the first layer that the application was fine, and on a cold day once I breathed on it for a couple of seconds there was literally no problem.
These swatches was done in natural light. It can look a lot darker than this depending on the lighting, but as you can see, it's so beautiful! Even if this isn't your kind of colour I would definitely recommend you check out the Illamasqua website, they have a lot of beautiful shades and to be honest I just like looking at the photos of their previous collections - they're like little pieces of art, really imaginative and different. I do love the theatrics that comes with Illamasqua. My only criticism is the price - £15.50 which I think is justified for this shade since it's so unusual and I haven't found an equivalent anywhere else (this is also how I feel about Lime Crime's Chinchilla - the only reason I felt it was okay for my boyfriend to get it for me is because I just couldn't find a shade like it anywhere else).

What's your favourite Illamasqua shade?
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