Friday, 30 May 2014

May favourites & fails

May was a quiet month on the blog but that doesn't mean I wasn't indulging behind closed doors. Enter the products that took my fancy over the past several weeks.


Favourites


OPI Nail Envy: My nails have for as long as I can remember been a 'problem area' - weak, brittle and prone to ridges and flaking. I blame many years of nail biting in my youth, which I would strongly recommend you never ever do! They've certainly improved in recent years but once they reach a certain length, all bets are off. Enter OPI's Nail Envy - a nail strengthener that can be worn on its own or as a base coat under polish. I've been wearing it constantly for the last month and a bit and I've noticed a definitive improvement in the health of my nails. They seem stronger, harder, and are growing more quickly. I love a product that does what it says. Would highly recommend!

Laura Mercier Eye & Cheek Palette: A limited edition palette from the lingerie collection a few years back (2012) but most (maybe all?) of the colours can be bought as singles, too. I brought this palette exclusively for colour cosmetics on my trip to Manchester, and so wore it for a week straight. The eye colour selection is perhaps not my first choice - the pink tones in some shades can be a bit unfriendly if you have any redness around your eyes, but overall it worked for a range of daytime and nighttime looks. What impressed me more was the formula - smooth, buttery, easy to blend and with lasting power second to none. I was apartment hunting (on foot) most days, and these shadows lasted unscathed from 8am until late in the night without any signs of fading or creasing. The blushes I absolutely love - vibrant, smooth and easy to blend and with similarly good wear time. This palette has me very curious to try more shades from LM's colour line, which I seem to have overlooked in favour of their base products. I also loved having eye and cheek colours in one place (I think more brands should do cheek palettes!).

Chanel Natural Finish Pressed Powder (Poudre Universelle Compacte) in 110 Beige Clair: Ignore the tester packaging in the photo above - this powder is a leftover artefact from my makeup swapping days (though I did receive it brand new). I often overlook this product, most likely because the dodgy packaging is a total pain. But, it is probably the best powder I've used for staying matte for the longest time, without looking cakey. I wore this all week in Manchester and every day since getting home - great for long, sunny Spring days.

NARS Matte Multiple in Laos & NARS Multiple in Copacabana: I've spoken about the new Matte Multiples a few times already (here and here), so my love should come as no surprise. After I remembered how much I dig the multiple formula, I pulled out a mini of Copacabana that I've had for years, and have been using them together. The highlight is a white/opal iridescent shade (neither pink nor gold) and despite being a cream formula does not disrupt my base, and blends seamlessly. This duo has quickly become a go-to cheek pairing for me this Summer.

Fail


Soap & Glory Whipped Clean Luxe Cream Wash Shower Butter: First things first - this smells amazing. Almondy, marizpan, pistachio, vanilla goodness. Absolutely no complaints there. This body wash claims to be an uber mositurizing shower cream. I had imagined it to be similar to those in-shower body lotions that are becoming more popular, in a one-step body wash. It is moisturising on the skin, but my problems lie with its formula. First of all, while it is moisturising it definitely does not feel like it's doing much to actually clean, so it falls flat on one of its two main stated functions. Secondly, the formula dispenses almost identically to a thick body cream, which definitely elicits some anticipation. Unfortunately, this thick cream splits in water. So when applying to skin most of it seems to end up in bits on the shower floor rather than lathered into damp skin. The closest (very strange) comparison I could think of was when rinsing out an empty container of greek yogurt to prep for recycling, and the once creamy substance splits into bits in the sink. Lovely. Not.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Where have I been!?

Things have been rather quiet these past few weeks on Consuming Beauty, and I promise for good reason. After working across Australia and Denmark for the past year or so, Dean has accepted a permanent job in Manchester, UK. This means starting in July I'll be splitting my time - 'commuting' if you like, between Copenhagen and Manchester. Very exciting indeed, and I am hugely grateful to have a work life that allows for this sort of craziness. Blogging of course is squarely a hobby, so apartment hunting and an impending international move amidst my (real) academic work are taking priority at the moment. 5 weeks to move followed by overseas work conferences for most of July mean that the coming months promise to be exciting but hectic!

That said, after spending the last week in the UK exploring Manchester, it is a change I am very much looking forward to. Any Mancunians out there, please feel free to comment or tweet me any tips/tricks or recs you have for my new adopted city.

And perhaps more importantly for readers of these pages - the move means that come August I'll be a UK-based beauty blogger with all the overwhelming access to retail that comes with the territory. I've already spotted a Boots the size of a football field or 3, and my beauty instincts are on full throttle. So, expect to see a new injection of beauty and fashion inspiration as I explore yet another new city!

New posts coming soon!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Top 5 - S/S fragrances

When the weather gets warm I change out my fragrance shelf just like I switch up my wardrobe. Just as a warm sexy fragrance can keep you feeling cozy in winter, a light and bright fragrance can keep you feeling fresh in spring and summer. Three new entries have joined two of last year's favourites - see which fragrances round out my top 5.



  1. Elizabeth and James Nirvana White EDPPeony, Muguet, Tender Musk. I tried this in store when I was in New York and got the mini rollerball in this Sephora Set. I did not expect to like this but it's a beautiful fresh floral scent (not granny floral or powdery at all). This lifts my mood every time I wear it.
  2. Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne -  Nectarine, Peach, Cassis, Spring Flowers, Acacia Honey. Perhaps my favourite Jo Malone scent of all time. This is the perfect fresh fruity scent with a bit of of sweetness and warmth from the honey. It's easy to wear and perfect day or night in S/S. This is my second bottle.
  3. Giorgio Armani Si EDPblackcurrant nectar, modern chypre and light musky wood. This fragrance combines fruity nectars, blackcurrant, bergamot, rose and jasmine with warmer lighter woods, patchouli and vanilla. It retains a fruitiness but is warm and sexy at the same time. It was a gift from Dean, and it's the perfect scent for warm summer nights. 
  4. Maison Martin Margiela REPLICA Beach Walk EDT - bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk. I got this when it launched last year. There was no um-ing and ah-ing - I purchased it on first spray and I'm so glad I did. It smells like the beach, but in my opinion it's more sophistocated than the Bobbi Brown or Estee Lauder versions. Think a pristine luxury beach resort, not Banana Boat sunscreen. It also means you don't need to be at the beach to feel appropriate wearing this - it's more of a tribute to a familiar experience which is exactly what the Replica line is all about.
  5. Burberry Body Tender EDT -  Lemon, Rose, Musk. A fruity-chypre scent that is reminiscent of the original Body, but less cloying and powdery. I love the intense version for Winter, and this is the perfect S/S counterpart.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Unsung heroes #1

The churn of new releases in the beauty world often leads to mounting wishlists and makeup collections suitable in size for a small village. Today I'm putting the brakes on and talking about three unsung heroes - not necessarily new and snazzy, but staple products in my stash that I love and that deserve their moment in the spotlight.


MAC Paint Pot in Painterly - I've used this nearly every day for the better part of the past year, and at least intermittently before that, and I'm still on the same pot. A matte, cream, flesh-toned eye base that works to cancel any redness, blueness or veins on my eyelids, and helps keep my shadows in place and prevent creasing. Since it's matte, whatever you put on top of it shows up true to shade and finish. This matches my complexion almost perfectly but if you are darker skinned MAC does offer other shades.

MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul - Even though I've never spoken about this before, it's a go-to blush for me all year round. It's a rosy-bronze with gold shimmer. In summer it works to give you a warm glow, and in the winter on pale skin the more rosy-berry tones show through. Perfectly versatile and one I've gotten a tonne of milage out of.

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Portobello - Two matte mid-tone browns, one slightly warmer than the other. These create enough definition for a look on their own but for me it's the perfect duo to blend out my crease. As I've mentioned before I use a shade like this every single day, so while this duo won't look like the most exciting in a lineup, it's incredibly useful to have.

Ever since going on my beauty blogger buying ban, I've been having a lot of fun shopping my stash. What are some of your go-to but not often raved about faves?

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The champagne wash

Don't worry...  I won't blame you for thinking I may be bathing in champagne, as I imagine Mariah Carey does, which would be far more exciting. No... I'm talking about a champagne wash of colour, a look I tend towards mostly on lazy weekends or long summer days. Never sparkly but perfectly sheeny - a light and bright sweep of shadow on the lid, that is put together and effortless at the same time.



This isn't a complicated look requiring tutorials or the like, but it is a staple for me, especially on lighter makeup days. Here are some of my go-to's.

Creams


  • MAC Paint Pot in Barestudy - The subtle option - A beautiful, sheer, no-fuss wash of colour. This is a true champagne, and when swatched next to the others the least pink of all six. The formula is creamy and will crease but is great for lazy days or as a base under powder shadows. Bare Study is an old standby. I've finished a whole pot of this and am now on #2.
  • MUFE Aqua Cream in #13 - The waterproof option - This has a thinner formula and blends easily but then seriously sets in place. It's perfect to wear on its own because it won't crease or budge. It also works amazing as a long-wear eye primer, and the shimmer shows through powder shadows you put on top. This is also in a super lightweight plastic pot so is my go-to for travel.
  • Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Emerveille - The cream-to-powder option - This formula is great for a wash of colour applied with fingers but also is an amazing lid colour for more dramatic looks, because it looks almost wet on the lid, but with no sparkle or glitter in sight. Colour-wise, this is definitely warmer and pinker than the previous two.

Powders


  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #8 - The metallic option - A pressed powder pigment that can be super in-your-face foiled if you want or lightly blended across the lid with a finger for a pretty semi-sheer metallic wash. 
  • MAC Naked lunch (frost) - The satin option - A cult shade from MAC, and well-loved in my stash. Naked Lunch is technically a frost but on my lid I'd describe it as a satin, with much less shimmer than the other two. This colour is very easy to wear on light skin tones but I have a sneaking suspicion it may look chalky on darker skins.
  • Urban Decay Sin - The everyday option - A super buttery shadow that looks pinker on my hand  but pulls a bit warm on my eyes. I tend not to use this on its own, but It's a staple lid shade for everyday eye looks with the Naked 1 palette.

What is your go-to look for lazy or light makeup days?