Sunday 19 May 2013

Summer Lippy Lovin': MAC Morange

What can I say, I've got a bee in my bonnet about Summer makeup lately. I've done my favourite blushers and waxed lyrical about Summer nail colours so I might as well throw a lippy or two in there as well for good measure really. To be fair, I couldn't let the Spring/Summer season slip in without mentioning MAC Morange. So I decided to dedicate a Lippy Lovin post to it, Summer style!

MAC Morange Lipstick (Amplified)
Not much more to say to describe this lipstick other than orange, orange and... errrr.... ORANGE!! This is a shade that is seriously HOT. It's actually the first MAC lipstick I ever bought! Interestingly, in some lights it does appear quite red and I've heard comparisons be drawn between this and Vegas Volt as a result. Well, I can tell you that they are NOTHING alike. Vegas Volt is a brilliant coral and has pinky, red tones in it, whereas Morange is most definitely a slightly reddened pure orange tone. I'm quite relieved that these pictures captured it's true colour. 

This lippy gives a lovely, creamy swatch. I do like the Amplified finish from MAC. It goes on really smoothly and feels very comfortable on. It also lasts pretty well, although with more vibrant shades such as this you have to pay a lot more attention to its wear time than with more subtle shades of the same finish. I'd also recommend to wear a lip liner with it as it does seem to bleed a little without. If, for any reason, you require a more wearable, toned down version of this colour, I also find it works great when mixed with a nude (I've tried it with Viva Glam GaGa 2 and Myth before and it just takes the edge off for a more subtle orange).

Apologies for the CRAP iPhone lip photo. You know that thing, where you think it's okay when you're viewing on your phone, but once you blow it up on the laptop it becomes a pixelated MESS?? Yeah, that. Well, at least it demonstrates the colour perfectly. It's just a gorgeous, tropical summer orange. Personally, I'd rock this for day or night depending on the occasion. On me it compliments tanned, bronzey makeup but also works for paler ladies and on dark skin tones. It seems to look different on different people to me so I'd highly recommend trying this on next time you pop into a MAC counter! Sure it's not the most wearable shade in the world and I only really get this out in the summer or occasionally at Christmas, but it's a BEAUT!

I'm not going to insult you and give you price and stockist information. I know you ladies all know well and good how to get your hands on your MAC hahaha. Give it a swatch!

Do you go nuts for juicy lip colours?? What are your favourite summer lip products?? Do you go bold or neutral??

Saturday 18 May 2013

Paul & Joe Beach Baby Collection SS13

Hello beautiful people!!
I suspected that May was going to be a bit sporadic for London Beauty Banter, and I was right. I'm juggling so much at the moment and the exhaustion is creeping in so much of my blogging time has had to become nap time in the last week. I'm slowly getting through all these university deadlines though and I've taken this evening out to schedule a couple of posts for this weekend and the number one item on the agenda is definitely these fantastic new releases from the Paul & Joe Summer 'Beach Baby' collection. 

I got a little excited when I walked into the P&J offices for this event. You can't help but stare at Paul & Joe products can you?? The packaging is stunning! As always Paul & Joe have taken their inspiration for this collection from 60s nostalgia and all those gloriously retro beach films. The shades are perfect for that retro POP of colour that looks so beautiful in the sunshine.   

The Beach Baby Limited Edition Collection consists of....

Smoothing Base £26
Foundation primer and pore minimiser. Formulated with Apricot and White Lily Extract to deliver hydration whilst Jojoba oil helps skin retain that moisture throughout the day. This product refines the skin, making it smoother and more toned in order to provide the perfect canvas for flawless summer makeup.

SPF20 Pressed Powder £28
This powder comes in two shades; Beach Baby Pink and Summer Sand to cater for both warm and cool skin tones.  This powder will add a beautiful glow to your skin whilst disguising pores and absorbing excess oil to create a 'soft focus' effect.

Eyeliner/Eye Crayon Duo £22
A great multi purpose product! This product has a water resistant formula and combines liner to define the eyes as well as a versatile crayon which can be used as a liner or a smooth, glossy shadow. Great for popping in your beach bag for touch ups. The colours are...
Saint Tropez (01) Soft, natural sunkissed tones
Fiji (02) Beige and Lavender
Cypress (03) Earthy tones
Las Palmas (04) Aquatic, bold blues/greens
Santorini (05) Smokey Charcoal and Turquoise

Eye and Lip Gloss Duo £28
Another multi use product which is ideal for slipping into your beach bag. Inspired by sunsets and seascapes, these shades have been paired to be reminiscent of the 60s era. The shades are muted, but buildable to achieve an effortless summer makeup which will not budge. The shades are...
Santa Monica (01) Rose tones
Nice (02) A pop of purple with a subtle pink
Monaco (03) Sandy beige tones
Maui (04) Nectarine and Lemon
Bahamas (05) Vintage pink flamingo

Nail Enamels £12
Retro shades which pay tribute to some of the worlds' most beautiful beaches. These polishes come in the same adorable Paul & Joe packaging, with a summer twist of pink. I'm so excited about these colours! Paul & Joe haven't left anything out with this selection. There is everything from muted lavender to opal to aqua and orange. The shades are
Miami (031) Soft, yet striking Lavender
Caribbean (032) Cool aquamarine
Bermuda (033) Sunkissed Rose
Mauritius (034) Sparkling, pale sand tones
Rio (035) Rich, rusty orange

Blotting Papers £3.50
The trusty Paul & Joe blotting papers have had a summer dolphin makeover for this collection and are a must for absorbing excess dirt and oil while on the go or on the beach. Instant face freshening and perfect for your beach kit. 

I was lucky enough to take home some of the products, although I think I need more! I can't wait to try them out. I've been in need of a new brown liner and Saint Tropez is perfect! The smoothing base has got a lot to live up to because I'm expecting great things. I will, of course report back! 

It was so lovely to catch up with all the ladies from Paul & Joe and, of course, the awesome Craig-Ryan French (P&J Beaute's brand ambassador and SFX Makeup artist to the stars) who talked us through all of the new products with demonstrations on unwitting 'victims' and letting us swatch to our hearts content! 

The Paul & Joe Beach Baby Collection is available NOW instore at Harrods, Fenwicks and Selfridges as well as online at ASOS. It will also go live on BeautyBay from 1st June. It's well worth investigating and will look BEAUTIFUL on your vanity. 

Do you look for vintage inspiration when the weather heats up?? Do you think you will pick up any of these products?? What are your beach bag essentials??

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Summer Blush Crush Pt2: Illamasqua SOPHIE

So it appears I've developed ANOTHER unexpected summer blush crush in recent weeks... and it just so happens that it's ANOTHER Illamasqua product. You can read about my obsession with Illamasqua cream blush in Rude Here but the product I want to talk about today is their powder blush in S.O.P.H.I.E. 

Before I start to wax lyrical about how much I love this blush, I'd just like to take a bit of time to explain how Illamasqua and S.O.P.H.I.E came to pass. These products are named in memory of a girl named Sophie Lancaster who was tragically beaten along with her partner just because they looked different and dressed differently. Sadly, Sophie passed away from her injuries that night but her memory and name live on in the charity set up by her mother, Sylvia, who now dedicates her life to educating young people on tolerance and accepting people from all walks of life nomatter how they look or dress. Her tireless efforts were noticed by Illamasqua and, together, they are raising awareness. I'd love it if you'd take the time (if you haven't already) to read a little more about Sophie's story and watch the video commissioned by Illamasqua illustrating Sophie's final moments. Both can be found Here on the Illamasqua website and are truly touching as well as inspirational.

Sophie's namesake blush came as part of the Generation Q collection released by Illamasqua in September 2012. I'm so late to the party with this collection and finally came upon this blush just last month but I'm more than making up for it now. Illamasqua describe this shade as a golden coral shimmer, which is pretty spot on in my view. The shade can look slightly different in different lights. In these photos the light has brought out the pink in it, but in other lights it can look more reddened but it is just stunning. It's a similar colour to BeneFit Coralista but, true to Illamasqua, it's deeper and more pigmented and has more of a sparkle to it, whereas Coralista has more of a subtle 'sheen'. S.O.P.H.I.E highlights perfectly as well as adding a beautiful coral flush.

I apply this product with my Real Techniques blush brush or my MAC 168 depending on what effect I'm going for. If I want a full of flush of coral I'll use the former and, for more precise application to the cheekbones, the latter. Guess I'm a bit whited out in this photo from having to stand RIGHT next to the window, but you can still see it on my cheekbones. Where did the sunshine go, seriously?? It's all dark again.

Do you go nuts for Illamasqua blushers?? What are your favourite shades?? Were you touched by Sophie Lancaster's story??

Monday 13 May 2013

Mavala Chilli & Spice Collection for SS13

Not a Monday Manicure post as such this week but I AM talking about nail polish, which is a step back in the right direction. Last week I went along to see the lovely ladies from Pure PR who were holding a 'Summer Getaway' event to showcase their best summer picks from their best Beauty and Healthcare brands. One of these brands is Mavala, who just happen to have a new collection out for SS13. It's called the Chilli and Spice Collection* and I'm lucky enough to have all of the polishes for your swatching pleasure!

Mavala are a brand with whom I have had limited experience, to be honest. Until now I've only owned a single nail polish and a single lipstick of theirs (not that they were no good, I love them both, I just haven't come across many since). Based out of Geneva, Switzerland and named after it's creator, the brand has an extensive range of nail colours and treatments, as well as having branched out into lipsticks. The Chilli & Spice Collection is a selection of 6 Summer brights named after a taste of the exotic. 

On first impressions I'm most drawn to Samarkand, Bamako and Bali out of the selection but, honestly, all the shades are stunning. The only one I've had on my own nails so far is Samarkand and I was extremely impressed at the opacity of it after just one coat. After swatching all of the polishes it does appear that some of the shades take more building up than others. However, I'm confident that, after a couple of coats, you'd get a decent payoff from all of them. I've only swatched one coat for this post. All of the colours are flat (by flat I mean there's no shimmer or glittery bits hiding in there) and dry to a lovely gloss.

Hopefully you'll be seeing each of these polishes in all their glory on this blog over the warmer months. I'm not one for painting my nails over and over again for the sake of one blog post as I don't believe in wiping off a lovely paint job and I don't like to waste a great polish. It really is a lovely shade range though. The polishes come in Mavala's signature 5ml bottles.

The Mavala Chilli & Spice Collection is available NOW from selected Boots stores.

Do you rate Mavala polishes?? What are your favourite shades??

Sunday 12 May 2013

New Makeup Set-Up and Vintage French Storage

Good evening beauty seekers!!
A bit of a slow week last week on London Beauty Banter to say the least!! Two posts?? NOT good enough! I think May is going to be a bit of a funny one as I have Uni deadlines GALORE to get everything handed in and finally say BYE BYE to Derby University ready for Greenwich in September which I am REALLY looking forward to. Anyhow, today I have pulled my finger (and my camera) out big time and had an afternoon of photography so that this week will not be quite so barren. 
Today I want to talk about something a bit different. I've not done many storage posts since I moved to London as my stuff has just been EVERYWHERE while I've figured out my new room and furniture etc etc. However, thanks to a gorgeous new edition from the lovely people over at Out There Interiors, I finally got the kick up the backside I needed to sort out my Vanity once and for all!!

So there it is....
My Vanity is actually a study desk which doesn't have a chair haha (probably why I don't get much studying done to be fair). Still, it's an improvement on a ferret cage, which you can actually see through the mirror haha, which is what I was using before!

My Vanity Consists of:
Brush Holders - These are various mugs and plant pots that I've picked up from Pound Shops over the last few months. They're cheap and work really well. I use the larger pot for my face brushes (and also nail files, hair brushes and suchlike) and the smaller mug for eye, liner, and brow brushes. 
Cath Kidston Makeup Bag (eBay) - I got this really cheaply. I can't find the exact one today to link you to but if you look Here there are lots of similar ones still on sale for very good prices. This has mostly pencils and liners in it along with my most used mascaras.
Mirror (Argos £12.99) -  I've only just got round to buying a proper vanity mirror. Before i was just using a hand mirror or my full length wall mirror because I didn't trust the ferrets not to climb up and knock it over (7yrs bad luck I could do without). Luckily they can't climb up to the new desk so I'm safe.
Scented Candles and Cupcake Scentsy Warmer* - Because I like to have things that smell nice and they just look pretty along with everything else. These ones are Neom 'Serenity' (Sandalwood and Vanilla), an M&Ms one from the Pound Shop and I currently have 'Apple Press' in my warmer. You can read more about my Scentsy warmer and fragrances in my post Here.
I'd also like to mention my homemade crochet doily that I put there just to break up the desk a bit because the wood looked boring haha. 

Onto the Main Feature!!

Three Vintage French Style Vanity Boxes* from 'Out There' Interiors!!

Yes, I did a major SQUEE when these arrived. I'd been using mostly Glossyboxes as makeup storage in the past but they just don't have the WOW factor that these have! Plus they don't really hold much and were starting to get very tatty. THESE, however, as well as being visually stunning, are so roomy and very sturdy indeed! There are three sizes in the set and i use each to hold different items. They mainly hold the products I reach for the most. I do have some other shelves and drawers that hold makeup and skincare but those are still a work in progress and I don't use those items quite as much or they are a little too big to fit in these boxes. 

These boxes are just Vintage, Shabby Chic PERFECTION! I love how they have been made to look weathered and aged around the edges. The detailing is superb. The print is exactly what I go for and I'm in love with the ornate clasps. Inside they have a deep red velvety lining. They also fit LOADS in. Even the smallest box!

I'm going to take you through each box from top to bottom so you can see exactly what I have stashed in each.

The smallest box at the top is reserved for Nails Inc polishes. Nails Inc are my favourite nail brand of all time and I wanted to have my most-worn nail colours all in one place where I can just open it up and pick one out. My Seche Vite is in there too. I have another drawer full of other polishes as well (my stash seems to grow weekly just lately) but these are the ones that deserved a special place. 

The middle box is for blushers, highlighters and bronzers. Again, I have more, but these are the ones I reach for the most or have a special place in my heart (minus my BeneFit boxed blushes, as I feel they are too pretty to hide away). In here I have MAC, Illamasqua, NARS, Bourjois and a few others as well as my HD Brows palette.

Lastly, the big bucket-sized one in the bottom has my skincare, primers and foundations in it. Basically, anything that goes on my face. There is everything from moisturiser to serum to foundation to BB creams in here. Most notable at the moment for me are my Elemis Illuminating Flash Balm (Review Here) and my NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Santa Fe (Review Here). Most of my cleansers and toners are permanently kept in the bathroom but these are the items I tend to switch it up with depending on how my skin is feeling. 

I'm so happy with my new storage. The boxes are so beautiful and just looking at them makes me happy. I also love that I'm now more organised with my makeup storage and that I know exactly what is in each box and that everything has it's correct place. I'm a Virgo, this makes me MAJOR happy! I really did go through a phase of tearing my hair out over my Vanity because it never looked or functioned the way I wanted it to.

These storage boxes retail for £49.99 which, for me, is at the higher end of what I could afford to spend on makeup storage but I guess it's only the same as a decently sized set of Muji and I'd definitely say they're worth every penny in their visual beauty alone!

You can find these storage boxes along with so many other stunning Vintage French Items at 
What's on YOUR Vanity?? What are your go-to solutions for storing your makeup?? Do you go crazy for Shabby Chic??


Tuesday 7 May 2013

Tropical Summer Nails ft GOSH SS13

Hello lovelies!! I had intended to post this YESTERDAY as I haven't done a Monday Manicure post for a few weeks but, although i had all the photos done in time, my efforts were thwarted by a migraine and I ended up having to have an early nap instead. Boooooo! Anyways, I've been going a bit crazy for my Limecrime Velvetines in Suedeberry on my lips this week (if you still don't know what that is see my post Here) and it inspired me to pull out a couple of tropical nail colours that I received from GOSH Cosmetics new SS13 Collection and go bright on my nails as well!!

I suppose I have featured these polishes briefly on this blog before but no way did a quick swatch demonstrate them in all their glory and this is the first time I have given these two colours, in particular, their chance to truly shine!! Tropicana* is a hotter than hot orange toned coral/red shade and I chose Greed* to go along with it as an accent to add a bit of extra sunshiney SPARKLE!

I love love love these colours! It's a pity I still don't have much of a tan to set them off really (working on that). Tropicana applies very opaque from the first coat, although I did two to be on the safe side. I used my Ciate Paint Pot in Sand Dune as a base for two coats of the gold glitter polish. I might just add that I find GOSH polishes to be very thick in texture which is great in terms of colour payoff but, in my experience, each coat needs a little extra setting time before adding the next. Same before adding topcoat, or it just seems to clump and pull the polish off the edge of the nail. As always I finished with lashings of Seche Vite!

Coral and Gold are two of my favourite colours for summer. I just love warm, orangey, sunshiney hues when the sun comes out. I know it's a bit of a no no to match nail polish to lipstick these days but I just couldn't help myself. These colours set Suedeberry Velvetines off perfectly! 

I did do a post about the full shade range for the GOSH SS13 collection Here with information on all shades, prices and stockists so be sure to check out the other shades in the range!

What are your perfect Summer nail colours??

Sunday 5 May 2013

The Highlight(s) of my Summer

Good evening beauty seekers!!
Another slightly late offering today. I've spent most of this weekend trying to rearrange my makeup and skincare storage so laptop time has not been that much of a priority. I hope to have a post up next week to show you my new makeup set up and storage solutions but, in the meantime, I wanna keep with this week's summery theme (finally, some sunshine at last) and instigate a bit of chatter about sunshine of the facial variety. Namely, highlighters. I own a few highlighters. Recently I've been on a quest for glowy summer skin and, after experimenting with the different highlighting products in my collection, some definite favourites have emerged. So I thought I'd pen a little post to tell you why I love them and why there is room for all of them in my life. 

This HUGE compact from GOSH cosmetics is just beautiful! It is actually a super-shimmery bronzing product which is a deeper golden shade than the other products in this post. It is designed for use on both the face and body and looks gorgeous when swept over tanned shoulders and decolletage. On my face, I only tend to use it as a highlight when I'm tanned due to the colour. At other times I'll use it as a bronzer. It swatches a lovely molten gold sheen and is so pretty!

Aurora is the latest edition to my highlighter stash and the only cream product featured in this post. I worship at the alter of Illamasqua. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that they are my favourite makeup brand of late. Their Gleam Highlighter packs some SERIOUS pale gold shimmer but without being glittery. The cream formula is quite dense but lights up my face when I dab it on my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and cupid's bow with my finger. As it is a cream product it doesn't really 'set' as such so I sometimes feel the need to pat a little translucent powder over the top of it but this highlighter gives the best glow out of the bunch with minimal amount of product needed. I've been using it the most with their SOPHIE and Rude blushers.

I love budget products that really perform and MUA seem to be very consistent with the quality of their products lately! This little beauty costs just £3 and, in my opinion, performs to the same standard as any of the other high end products featured in this post! This product is actually quite pink in tone which I like, as it makes it different from all the others. The consistency of the powder is so soft and buttery and a pleasure to apply and blend. It's more subtle than Aurora (probably down to it being a powder product) but you don't need a lot to give the prettiest glow to the face when applied in all the same places. I must try more of their Undress range if this is anything to go by!

I couldn't not include this one as a favourite highlight product, could I? MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in Lightscapade has caused so much hype in it's time and it was a bandwagon I was happy to jump on. I don't use this product in the same way as I use Aurora or MUA as it's just not as RAWR. I love to use this to give a more glowy finish to my regular powder. A sweep of this on a big brush all over my face just gives my makeup a warmer, more glowy finish. I know a lot of people have complained that the new version of Lightscapade doesn't have the same veining and WOW factor of the original version but I love this compact for what it is, which is a beautiful, beige toned highlight that gives a stunning soft glow to my face. This may be a good one for those with oilier skins who would probably benefit from a much more subtle shimmer highlight. 

 L-R: GOSH, Illamasqua, MUA, MAC

So those are my current favourite products for highlighting. I do have other highlight products. I have the Sleek Glo highlighter (I wrote a post on it a while back which can be found Here) which is very similar to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick and also the highlighter that comes in their Contour Kit as well as the BeneFit High Beam. To be honest I'm still to master the art of contouring my entire face but I'm really enjoying experimenting with different highlighted effects for the new Summer season now that the sun has FINALLY got it's hat on. HURRAH!!

What are your favourite Summer makeup effects?? Do you rate any of these products?? What are your favourite ways to achieve a glowing complexion??


Saturday 4 May 2013

Elegant Touch/Little Mix Giveaway WINNER!

Hi lovelies!
Just a quick one tonight to let you know the WINNER of my Blog's 2nd Birthday Giveaway I posted a couple of weeks ago. If you remember, the prize was this full set of Elegant Touch Little Mix Nail Wraps. Seriously, they are so pretty! 

Here's me yesterday, sporting the Jade wraps.. How CUTE!!

Anyhoo, we're not here just to look at my nails today, you want a WINNER!! The winner was picked totally at random by Rafflecopter. After all it has to be fair!

Sooooooo, the Winner is.....

Claire Ellis

I have notified Claire by email and if, for any reason, I do not get a reply within the next few days I will, of course, re-draw and a new winner will be chosen.

MASSIVE thank you to everyone who entered and, don't worry, I have another Giveaway planned very soon so keep an eye on London Beauty Banter for more details. 
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